Antihistamine May Be Useful In Fight Against Hepatitis C

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jake Liang MD Liver Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MDMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Jake Liang MD
Liver Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Liang: Currently existing drugs against HCV, like Sovaldi, are expensive, have some side effects and are associated with drug resistance. They are not reaching the populations that are most in need of treatment. We discovered that certain over-the-counter medications used to treat allergies can block HCV infection in the laboratory and animal model. We still need to test their benefit in treating people with HCV. The drug blocks the step of HCV getting into the cells and is different from the current HCV drugs, which block the step of viral replication.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Liang: We don’t know whether this drug works in people with hepatitis C. It still needs to be tested in human trial.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Liang: Since CCZ has been used widely and have a good safety profile in people, it is reasonable to consider a trial in people. However we would have to use the currently accepted dosing for any clinical trial, because chlorcyclizine at high dose may have significant side effect, such as drowsiness. It is possible that chlorcyclizine in current dosing may not be active against HCV in people. To further optimize this drug for testing in people, we may have to modify the drug to make it more active, minimize its antihistamine effect, and improve its pharmacological properties. This effort will require additional pharmacological research and development.

Citation

Repurposing of the antihistamine chlorcyclizine and related compounds for treatment of hepatitis C virus infection
Shanshan He1, et al

Sci Transl Med 8 April 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 282, p. 282ra49
Sci. Transl. Med. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3010286

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MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jake Liang MD (2015). Antihistamine May Be Useful In Fight Against Hepatitis C 

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