Sovaldi: Precautions, Side Effects & Drug Interactions

Research Based
Medically reviewed by - Dr Lara Mokhtar, MD Written by - Dr. Abdul Khalique, MD


What is Sovaldi?

Sovaldi 1Introduction | Researched based study from Infectious Disease Education & Assessment is a medicine that fights against viruses and stops the body from producing more hepatitis C virus (HCV). Sovaldi needs to be used along with additional antiviral drugs, typically ribavirin either with or without peginterferon alfa. Only select individuals and specific genotypes of hepatitis C are treated by Sovaldi. When undergoing a liver transplant or when a patient has liver cancer and simultaneously has HIV, Sovaldi may be prescribed. This medication is not an HIV or AIDS cure.

Sovaldi is a medicine that fights against viruses and stops the body from producing more hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C?

  • The liver is the main organ affected by the viral infection known as hepatitis C. It is spread through contact with tainted blood, frequently from sharing needles, transfusions of blood, or sexual activity.
  • The infection may be acute or chronic, and chronic cases can result in cirrhosis, liver cancer, and long-term liver damage.

Mechanism of action

How does Sovaldi work?

  • Sovaldi functions as a chain terminator during RNA synthesis, obstructing the hepatitis C virus’s capacity to multiply.
  • In those with chronic hepatitis C infection, this interference with the replication process lowers the viral load and improves liver function.


How is Sovaldi taken?

  • Sovaldi may be taken orally regardless of food.
  • The ability to chew, split, or crush Sovaldi tablets is not specified by the manufacturer.
  • Each pellet dosage of Sovaldi could be an alternative if you or your kid has problems swallowing tablets.


Uses of Sovaldi

  • Sovaldi is used for the management of few forms of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) either alone with ribavirin or in combination with ribavirin and peginterferon. 1Uses | Researched based study from Infectious Disease Education & Assessment
  • Adults who have genotype 1, 2, 3, or 4 chronic HCV are treated with Sovaldi. The term genotype refers to a particular virus strain.
  • Children with genotype 2 or 3 chronic HCV are also treated with Sovaldi if they are 3 years of age or older.
  • Sovaldi is used to treat HCV in both adults and children, whether they have cirrhosis (liver scarring) or not.
  • By inhibiting an enzyme (protein) that the hepatitis C virus needs to replicate itself, Sovaldi treats the condition.
  • This decreases the levels of HCV in the body to such a significantly lower level.

Dosage & Strength

Strength of Sovaldi

  • There are two strengths of Sovaldi tablets: 400 mg and 200 mg.
  • The 200 mg and 150 mg oral pellets are also available. 1Dosage | Researched based study from Infectious Disease Education & Assessment
  • Your doctor will prescribe a different dosage of Sovaldi for you based on the genotype or the type of strain of the causative HCV.
  • Other variables, such as the need for a liver transplant and the presence of liver cancer, may also come into play.
  • The dosage of Sovaldi for children is determined by their body weight and the strain of HCV they have.
  • The dosage for your child will be decided by their doctor.
  • Sovaldi should be taken once daily. It may be consumed with or without meals. Sovaldi should be taken once day, preferably around the same time each day. This helps keep the drug’s concentration in your bloodstream constant.

Missed dose

  • Take the missed Sovaldi dose sooner you recall if you miss it.
  • If, however, your next dose is soon close, escape the missed dose and take the next dose as scheduled.
  • Two Sovaldi dosages shouldn’t be taken at once.
  • You could experience more negative effects if you do this.

Duration of Medication

  • Short-term usage of Sovaldi is normal. Depending on your genotype (strain) of HCV and medical history, your doctor may prescribe Sovaldi for 12 or 24 weeks.
  • Sovaldi may be taken for up to 48 weeks by liver cancer patients who are in the waiting period for a liver transplant.
  • As early as you take the first dose of Sovaldi, it begins to work. After just a few days or weeks of taking the drug, some people may experience a reduction in their hepatitis symptoms.
  • However, even if you observe a reduction in your symptoms, it’s crucial to continue taking Sovaldi for the full duration of your doctor’s prescription.


Precautions with Sovaldi

If you have specific medical issues or other variables that affect your health, Sovaldi might not be the best choice for you. Before beginning Sovaldi, discuss your medical history with your doctor. Take only the drugs that have been prescribed. Don’t give your medication to anyone else.

In Renal issues:

  • In patients with severe kidney illness, such as kidney failure, it is unknown if Sovaldi is safe or effective.
  • Consult your doctor about Sovaldi if you have severe renal disease to determine if it is the right medication for you.
  • They might suggest a different drug.

In Liver Disorders:

  • hepatic issues, such as liver transplants. It is unknown if Sovaldi is secure or efficient for patients with specific liver issues.
  • If you have liver issues other than hepatitis C, discuss these with your doctor. Examples include having previously undergone a liver transplant or having indications of cirrhosis (liver scarring).
  • Your doctor might decide to treat your illness with a different drug.
  • Additionally, your doctor could prescribe you a different dose of Sovaldi than usual if you have liver cancer and are awaiting a liver transplant.

If you have ever experienced an adverse reaction to Sovaldi or any of its ingredients, your doctor is unlikely to recommend it to you. Find out from them which other medications would be best for you.

Boxed Warning from FDA

  • The possibility of reactivation of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is included in the boxed warning for Sovaldi.2Precautions| Researched based study from Food and Drug Administration
  • Taking Sovaldi may cause the hepatitis B virus (HBV) to reactivate (flare up) in your body if you’ve previously had the disease.
  • Sovaldi trials did not reveal this side effect, however it has been reported with other comparable medications.
  • HBV reactivation symptoms could include:
  • Stomach ache.
  • decreased appetite.
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or sclera of the eyes).
  • black urine.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases’ HCV recommendations advises physicians to postpone HCV treatment until after delivery.
  • Consult a medical professional before taking Sovaldi if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.
  • However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that Sovaldi is combined with ribavirin, which should not be consumed while pregnant.
  • That’s because ribavirin may harm a fetus or result in the loss of a pregnancy.
  • Consult your physician about your contraception needs if you or your spouse can become pregnant while taking Sovaldi if you or they are sexually active.
  • Also unknown is the safety of using Sovaldi when nursing a baby.
  • Whether you are breastfeeding or planning to do so, before you take this medication discuss with your doctor

Side Effects

Side effects of Sovaldi.

Side Effects of Sovaldi

  • Similar to the majority of pharmaceutical substances, Sovaldi has the potential to induce both mild and severe adverse reactions. 
  • It is important to consider that the manifestation of pharmacological side effects may vary depending on factors such as age, concurrent health conditions, and concomitant medication usage.
  • The administration of Sovaldi in combination with ribavirin alone may result in mild adverse effects. The individual experiences symptoms of a headache and exhaustion, characterized by a lack of energy.
  • The coadministration of Sovaldi with ribavirin and peginterferon has been associated with the occurrence of mild adverse effects. 2Side Effects| Researched based study from Food and Drug Administration
  • Insomnia, often known as sleeplessness, refers to the condition characterized by difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep.
  • Fatigue means mental exertion that results from prolonged periods of stress.
  • The individual experiences symptoms of nausea and a headache.
  • Transient adverse effects of numerous pharmaceuticals often resolve spontaneously during a short duration ranging from a few days to a fortnight.
  • However, in the event that these symptoms become troublesome, it is advisable to consult with a medical professional such as a doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects:

  • Significant side effects from Sovaldi can happen, but they are less common. If you have significant adverse or side effects from Sovaldi, give a call to your doctor.
  • When Sovaldi is used with ribavirin or ribavirin + peginterferon, serious side effects can include:
  • Anemia (low red blood cells)
  • Relapse of hepatitis B virus
  • slow heartbeat
  • allergic reaction


Overdose with Sovaldi

  • Take Sovaldi as per the directions of your doctor.
  • Overdose can have negative side effects.
  • Sovaldi should only be used once per day.


Interactions of Sovaldi

Carbamazepine, Phenytoin, Oxcarbazepine, Rifabutin, Phenobarbital, Rifampin, St. John’s wort, Rifapentine or Tipranavir may all interact with Sovaldi. Avoid taking these medications when you are taking Sovaldi.

Drug Alcohol Interaction:

  • Alcohol and Sovaldi do not seem to interact at all.
  • But for those who have the hepatitis C virus (HCV), drinking alcohol increases the risk of cirrhosis (liver damage). HCV is treated with Sovaldi.
  • Your doctor might advise abstaining from drinking while taking Sovaldi due to this risk. Before taking Sovaldi, discuss your alcohol consumption with your doctor.


Solvaldi the Antiviral Drug

The revolutionary antiviral drug Sovaldi, usually referred to by a generic term sofosbuvir, is used to treat chronic hepatitis C disease. A direct-acting antiviral (DAA), Sovaldi prevents the hepatitis C virus (HCV) from replicating in the body. Hepatitis C treatment has been revolutionized by this medication’s high percentage of cure and relatively minor side effects, which result in shorter treatment times and better results than previous treatments. Sovaldi is frequently used with other antiviral medications to produce efficient treatment plans catered to particular hepatitis C genotypes. The medication has considerably aided in slowing the spread of liver diseases like cirrhosis and carcinoma of the liver as well as the prevalence of hepatitis C worldwide. However, discussions over affordability and accessibility were spurred by its price, particularly in low-income areas.

Disclaimer: The user acknowledges that this article's information is being offered for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to guarantee that the article is informational and correct. If they have any doubts or questions about their health, we firmly advise our readers to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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