Sovaldi vs Harvoni – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects

Sovaldi

It is the brand name of a drug called sofosbuvir, that belongs to the class of drugs known as nucleotide analog polymerase inhibitors.

This medication is produced by Gilead Sciences. The US Food and Drug Administration originally approved it in 2013.

Mechanism of Action

It works by preventing the hepatitis C virus from copying genetic material to make a new virus.

Uses

This prescription medication is used with other antiviral medicines to treat chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Hepatitis C is a viral infection which can cause liver failure and liver damage.

Dosage

It is taken with other antiviral medicines once a day for 12 to 24 weeks.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea;
  • feeling tired;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • anemia;
  • headaches.

Rare side effects may include:

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • clay-colored stools;
  • memory problems;
  • upper stomach pain;
  • confusion;
  • loss of appetite;
  • a feeling like you might pass out;
  • dark urine;
  • extreme tiredness;
  • shortness of breath;
  • weakness;
  • chest pain;
  • very slow heartbeats.

Contraindications

To make sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider:

  • if you have HIV (human immunodeficiency virus);
  • if you have hepatitis B;
  • if you have routine “INR” or prothrombin time tests;
  • if you use a blood thinner (Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • if you have recently used a heart rhythm medicine called amiodarone;
  • if you suffer from kidney disease;
  • if you have liver problems other than hepatitis C.

Alcoholalcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this medication since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of severe side effects.

Drug Interactionsdrugs pills meds

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • levothyroxine;
  • amlodipine;
  • Olysio (simeprevir);
  • clonazepam;
  • omeprazole;
  • cyclobenzaprine;
  • Protonix (pantoprazole);
  • Daklinza (daclatasvir);
  • Ribasphere (ribavirin);
  • gabapentin;
  • tramadol;
  • hydrochlorothiazide;
  • Viagra (sildenafil);
  • lactulose;
  • trazodone;
  • metformin;
  • ribavirin;
  • Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a);
  • RibaPak (ribavirin);
  • prednisone.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

If you are a woman, do not use this medication if you are pregnant.

It is not known exactly whether this medication can pass into breast milk or if it could negatively affect a nursing infant. Tell your doctor that you are breastfeeding a baby before using this medication.

Harvoni

It is the brand name of a combination of ledipasvir and sofosbuvir, two medications which belong to a group of medications called antivirals.

Mechanism of Action

It works by targeting certain proteins in the hepatitis C virus to keep it from reproducing in the body.

It is made by Gilead Sciences and was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2014.

Uses

This prescription medication is used to treat chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1, 4, 5 or 6 infection.

Moreover, the medication is used to treat people simultaneously infected with HCV and human immunodeficiency virus. Ledipasvir and sofosbuvir may also be used with ribavirin (an antiviral medication) to treat patients with cirrhosis and hepatitis C virus.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 1 tablet orally once per day.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is not known exactly whether this medication can pass into breast milk or if it could negatively affect a nursing infant. Tell your doctor that you are breastfeeding a baby before using this medication.

If you are a woman, do not use this medication if you are pregnant.

Contraindications

To make sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your healthcare professional:

  • if you have routine “INR” or prothrombin time tests;
  • if you have liver problems other than hepatitis C;
  • if you have HIV or AIDS;
  • if you have a heart rhythm problem for which you take a medicine called amiodarone;
  • if you use a blood thinner;
  • if you have hepatitis B;
  • if you suffer from kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis).

Alcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this medication since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of severe side effects.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • light-headed feeling (like you might pass out);
  • confusion;
  • shortness of breath;
  • weakness.

Less common side effects may include:

  • extreme tiredness;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • memory problems;
  • clay-colored stools;
  • dark urine;
  • very slow heartbeats;
  • loss of appetite;
  • upper stomach pain;
  • chest pain.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone);
  • melatonin;
  • Aleve (naproxen);
  • hydrochlorothiazide;
  • Xanax (alprazolam);
  • omeprazole;
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen);
  • Advil (ibuprofen);
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine);
  • spironolactone;
  • tramadol;
  • Klonopin (clonazepam);
  • ranitidine;
  • januvia;
  • Synthroid (levothyroxine);
  • oxycodone;
  • levothyroxine;
  • methadone;
  • Viagra (sildenafil);
  • metformin;
  • amlodipine;
  • lisinopril;
  • amoxicillin;
  • ibuprofen;
  • trazodone;
  • gabapentin;
  • triumeq;
  • clonazepam.

Bottom Line – Sovaldi vs Harvoni

Sovaldi (active ingredient – sofosbuvir) is an antiviral medication that is used to treat hepatitis C. It is part of a combination therapy and is prescribed along with ribavirin.

Harvoni (active ingredients – ledipasvir and sofosbuvir) is a medication which is used to treat chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1, 4, 5 or 6 infection. This antiviral medication works by preventing the hepatitis C virus from multiplying in the body.

In conclusion, both medications are produced by Gilead Sciences and contain the primary active ingredient called sofosbuvir. Neither of these medications is used to treat all types of HCV infection. Also, both have more than 90 percent cure rate.

Regarding their price, a 12-week treatment with Harvoni will cost $94,500, while the 24-week therapy will cost $189,000. The standard 12-week therapy with Sovaldi costs $84,000, while the 24-week therapy will cost $168,000.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK253687/
http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/medi
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1214853

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