(NaturalNews) If you or someone you know suffers from hepatitis C, you may want to think twice about succumbing to conventional drug treatment options, which could end up resulting in unexpected death. As reported by Army Times and others, Incivek (telaprevir), a popular drug used to treat hepatitis C, has been implicated in causing fatal skin reactions in at least two hepatitis C patients worldwide, and the drug appears to be especially deadly when used in combination with other hepatitis C drugs such as Victrelis (boceprevir).
Both Incivek, which is manufactured by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and Victrelis, which is manufactured by Merck & Co., were brought to market in 2011 to treat hepatitis C. But since that time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received at least 112 reports of patients developing very serious skin conditions, particularly as a result of using Incivek. Because of this, the agency recently decided to update the package insert for the drug, warning users about its dangers.
"Skin rashes are common with INCIVEK combination treatment," explains the new safety information for the drug. "Sometimes these skin rashes and other skin reactions can become serious, require treatment in a hospital, and may lead to death."
Patients with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C are the ones most often advised to take either Incivek or Victrelis in combination with both Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a), and Copegus (ribavirin, USP). But the FDA now urges such patients to be wary about the combination treatment, which can start as a minor rash and quickly develop into a much more serious infection. Patients are urged to immediately stop taking the drugs if they notice an adverse skin reaction, and consult their physicians.
"If serious skin reactions occur, all three components of Incivek combination treatment, including peginterferon alfa and ribavirin, must be immediately discontinued, and the patient should receive urgent medical care," stated the FDA in its announcement. "Consideration should also be given to stopping any other medications that may be associated with serious skin reactions."
Besides the extreme health risks associated with taking them, both Incivek and Victrelis cost a pretty penny for patients who complete the entire treatment protocol -- according to Army Times, both drug regimens cost upwards of $70,000 for a year's worth of treatment. With this in mind, many hepatitis C patients would likely be interested to know that there are a number of all-natural treatments for the condition that cost far less and carry no harmful side effects.
Since hepatitis C is said to be an infectious viral disease of the liver, natural antivirals like oil of oregano and citrus bioflavonoids, for instance, can provide powerful relief and potentially even a cure (http://www.naturalnews.com/032061_bioflavonoids_hepatitis_C.html). Turmeric, milk thistle, colloidal silver, licorice root, zinc, apple cider vinegar (ACV), food-grade hydrogen peroxide, and selenium are all powerful remedies for hepatitis C as well (http://www.naturalnews.com).