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Victrelis (Boceprevir)

Victrelis is for patients with Genotype 1. It is a protease inhibitor that helps target the virus and is added to the current treatment of Interferon and Ribavirin. It will mean the patient will be taking a combination of 3 drugs. It can boost the success rate of clearing the virus from 50% to 80% and in some cases will shorten the time that a patient needs to be on treatment.


Boceprevir Victrelis

If a patient has never done treatment before (Treatment Naive) then it is estimated that over 50% of them will only have to do 28 weeks treatment. However, all those who have done treatment before but not cleared the virus (treatment experienced) will still do 48 weeks.

Treatment time is calculated using a system called response guided therapy (RGT). This means that tests are done at various weeks into treatment that can tell how well a patient is responding to the treatment. This can help ensure that the patient does not stay on treatment longer than necessary.

Side effects

Victrelis does not reduce the side effects that can be caused by Interferon and Ribavirin. However it is likely to increase anaemia in many patients. This can then be treated by reducing the amount of Ribavirin taken by the patient.

In a few cases it can worsen the effects of neutropenia that is sometimes caused by interferon.

How to take it

All patients will start on Interferon and Ribavirin for the first 4 weeks. Victrelis will then be introduced making a total of 3 drugs to be taken.

  • Interferon
  • Ribavirin
  • Victrelis

For more information on Interferon and Ribavirin click here.

Victrelis tablets will be taken 3 times a day with meals. 12 tablets in total are taken, 4 with each meal. Virus levels will then be measured at week 8 and week 24 to determine the length of treatment required.

The diagram below shows the duration of therapy using Response Guided Therapy (RGT) guidelines. We have composed a simple explanation of this diagram below it.

Victrelis duration chart.jpg

Treatment Naive patients – those who have never tried treatment before

If the virus is undetectable at week 8 and also undetectable at week 24:

  • The total duration of treatment will be 28 weeks
  • Interferon and Ribavarin will be taken for the first 4 weeks
  • Then Interferon, Ribavarin and Victrelis will be taken up until week 28

If the virus is detectable at week 8 but undetectable at week 24:

  • The total duration of treatment will be 48 weeks
  • Interferon and Ribavarin will be taken for the first 4 weeks
  • Then Interferon, Ribavarin and Victrelis will be taken up until week 36
  • And then finally just interferon and Ribavirin up until week 48

Treatment experienced patients – those who have done treatment before but not cleared the virus

If the virus is undetectable at week 8 and also undetectable at week 24:

  • The total duration of treatment will be 48 weeks
  • Interferon and Ribavarin will be taken for the first 4 weeks
  • Then Interferon, Ribavarin and Victrelis will be taken up until week 36
  • And then finally just Interferon and Ribavirin up until week 48

If the virus is detectable at week 8 but undetectable at week 24:

  • The total duration of treatment will be 48 weeks
  • Interferon and Ribavarin will be taken for the first 4 weeks
  • Then Interferon, Ribavarin and Victrelis will be taken up until week 36
  • And then finally just Interferon and Ribavirin up until week 48

Stopping treatment altogether is also recommended for patients who are not responding well at 12 weeks or those with detectable levels of virus at 24 weeks.