What should I know about Olysio before taking it?

Olysio (simeprevir) is considered to be a safe, convenient and effective drug for treating chronic hepatitis C infections. Olysio shouldn't be used alone, but rather in combination with either Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) or the drugs peginterferon and ribavirin. People who have a severe loss of liver function shouldn't take Olysio.

Olysio treats a type of the virus called genotype 1. Some people with genotype 1 have a gene mutation that makes Olysio plus peginterferon/ribavirin ineffective, but the mutation doesn't affect the combination with Sovaldi.

More than 90% of people who take Olysio plus Sovaldi are cured of the infection, meaning the virus is no longer detectable after treatment. About 80% who take Olysio with peginterferon/ribavirin are cured.

Some people also may develop a skin rash or an increased risk of sunburn. People should take steps to protect their skin from sun exposure while on Olysio. In clinical trials, some people also reported mild to moderate trouble breathing, most often during the first four weeks of treatment. Since Olysio is taken along with other medications, people should also be aware of the warnings and side effects of those drugs. When combined with Sovaldi, the most common side effects are fatigue, headache and nausea. Peginterferon and ribavirin have a much longer list of warnings and possible side effects.

It is not known whether Olysio is safe during pregnancy. Women who are already pregnant should work with their doctors to decide if the benefits of Olysio justify the potential risks. Women who may become pregnant should use effective contraception during treatment. Women should not breastfeed while taking Olysio.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.