Who is this information for?
This page provides an overview of treatment and important information for patients starting on treatment with Harvoni® for hepatitis C infection.
What are sofosbuvir and ledipasvir and what do they do?
Sofosbuvir and ledipasvir (also known as Harvoni®) are antiviral medications used in combination to treat hepatitis C virus infection, which can cause inflammation and damage to the liver.
Sofosbuvir and ledipasvir stop replication of the hepatitis C viruses by directly affecting the mechanisms used by the virus to make copies of itself. They are therefore known as direct acting antivirals (DAA).
How do I take my Harvoni® tablets?
Harvoni® comes as a tablet containing 400mg of sofosbuvir and 90mg of ledipasvir. You should take one tablet once a day with or without food. The duration of treatment will depend on your hepatitis C genotype and the extent of your liver disease. The usual duration of treatment is between 8 and 12 weeks.
Do not stop taking Harvoni® without discussion with your doctor or liver nurse specialist. You need to complete the full course of treatment to ensure the best chance of treating your hepatitis C virus infection.
It is very important that you do not miss doses of Harvoni®. If you do miss a dose, but remember within 18 hours since you should have taken your dose, you should take your normal dose. If it has been more than 18 hours, then skip the missed dose, but take your next dose when it is due. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
If you are sick within 5 hours of taking your Harvoni® tablet, you should take an additional dose. If you are sick more than 5 hours after taking your Harvoni® tablet, you do not need to take another dose until your next scheduled dose.
Are there any side effects of Harvoni®?
Like all medicines, Harvoni® can cause side effects, although not everybody experiences them.
Very common side effects: headaches and / or fatigue however these are not usually severe.
Common side effects: rash.
If you experience any side effects, please contact your doctor, pharmacist or liver nurse specialist. This includes any possible side effects not listed above.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
The effects of Harvoni® in pregnancy are not known and it is not known whether Harvoni® can pass into breast milk.
If you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or you wish to plan a pregnancy whilst taking Harvoni®, this should be discussed carefully with your doctor first.
Should you wish to breastfeed whilst taking Harvoni®, this should be discussed carefully with your doctor first.
Do I need to have any tests or be monitored because I take Harvoni®?
You will need blood tests before, during and after your treatment with Harvoni®. These will be used to determine how long you should take Harvoni® for and to check the level of hepatitis C virus in your blood to ensure Harvoni® is working. These will be explained at your clinic appointment.
Are there any problems taking Harvoni® with any other medications?
Harvoni® can be affected by other medication, and may also affect medicines itself. Make sure your doctor, liver nurse specialist or pharmacist are aware of the medication you are currently taking; taking Harvoni® with some medicines may stop them from working properly, and your doctor may need to change you to a different medicine, adjust the dose you are taking or adjust when you take a medicine.
Only take medicines prescribed for you by your doctor and check with your doctor, liver nurse specialist or pharmacist before taking any new medicines. This includes medicines initiated by your GP or medicines / remedies bought over the counter.
Who I can contact to discuss Harvoni®?
Further information about your tablet can be found in the patient information leaflet found in the tablet / capsule box or on the container.
If you have any other questions about your medication, please contact the medicine helpline on 01223 217502.
We are smoke-free
Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.
Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998. www.cuh.nhs.uk/contact-us/accessible-information/
Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge
Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151