West Palm Beach, Florida (JusticeNewsFlash.com – News Report) – More than 1.25 million Americans are chronically infected with the Hepatitis B and as many as 5,000 die each year of a hepatitis-B-related illness. For some people, the infection becomes chronic, leading to liver failure, liver cancer or cirrhosis of the liver. The hepatitis B virus is transmitted in the blood and body fluids of someone who is infected — the same way the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS, spreads. Yet hepatitis B is nearly 100 times as infectious as HIV.
Now, the FDA has approved the drug named Viread and if taken once a day, Gilead Sciences (the maker of Viread) states that it can block an enzyme that the Hepatitis B needs in order to replicate in the liver cells. Gilead conducted a test over the course of 48 weeks, in which patients took either Viread or Hepsera (another Hepatitis B drug made by Gilead). Results showed that the response to Viread was better than Hepsera.
It is interesting that these developments have been made for patients suffering from this chronic disease, and it should be noted that Viread does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS. Patients taking the drug may experience the main side effect, which is nausea. Other reported side effects consist of abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, fatigue, inflammation of the nose and throat, back pain, and skin rash, according to Gilead. With more time and tests concerning this drug, many more lives will be affected in a beneficial way from this progress.
Jana Simard is a contributing writer for Justice News Flash with degrees in Political Science and Spanish. Born in Canada, but raised in sunny south Florida, Jana had an early passion for writing. During her high school and college years she interned at a Florida Congressman's office as well as a Rhode Island Governor and Senator's office. While in her last two years of college, Jana spent six months in Salamanca, Spain where she truly discovered her passion for writing and had her articles published in her school's newspaper. Her experience in two Providence high profile law firms has equipped her with the ability to write for Justice News Flash as a Legal Reporter.