Hepatitis Treatment – Antiviral Drugs

by Pravin Shukle, MD

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    Let's move on to anti-hepatitis drugs. Now the anti-hepatitis drugs really the main say of therapy has been the interferon alpha agents. Now interferon alpha seems to work in viral penetration. And by inhibiting viral penetration, you are inhibiting probably the first or second step in viral replication. Anti-hepatitis B drugs are suppressive not curative. So we are not necessary curing the patient with hepatitis B. Anti-hepatitis C drugs are targeted for viral eradication. And in fact we have seen eradication in many patients. Let's talk about interferon alpha. Now interferon alpha is a cytokine. And it acts through the Janus kinases. So Janus was mythical Greek god, actually he was an Olympian, who had ten heads. And so we talk about Janus kinases as being those agents that seem to have a whole bunch of faces to them. Now the Janus kinase is phosphorylate STAT that stands for Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription. So we call these JAK STAT receptors. And you can see the JAK portion down at the bottom. Now this causes an increase production of antiviral proteins. There is a specific activation of ribonuclease that degrades the viral messengerRNA when you activate these agents. This promotes the formation of natural killer cells that destroy infected liver cells. So that's why interferon alpha is such an important component of our immune system. Now, intramuscular injections, interferon alpha are usually how we administer this medication. The formulations vary from time and place. Now the absorption is relatively slow. It's given about two or three times per week. We do have something called pegylated forms that can be given once a week. Pegylated forms are first to encasing the inferon in certain types of almost mycells or liposomes. The elimination is through hydrolysis and proteolysis in the kidney....

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Hepatitis Treatment – Antiviral Drugs by Pravin Shukle, MD is from the course Antimicrobial Pharmacology. It contains the following chapters:

    • INF-alpha
    • Nucleoside Inhibitors
    • Broad sprectrum Replication Inhibitors
    • Miscellaneous

    Author of lecture Hepatitis Treatment – Antiviral Drugs

     Pravin Shukle, MD

    Pravin Shukle, MD

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