What is Ketek?

Ketek (telaprevir) is a prescription medication used to treat adults with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infection. It is used in combination with other HCV medications, peginterferon alfa and ribavirin. Ketek is a brand-name drug that’s also available as the generic drug telaprevir. Generic drugs usually cost less than brand-name versions. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drug.

Health Benefits

Ketek may help improve your hepatitis C infection by helping the virus to become less active. This may cause your liver damage to improve. In some cases, it may even lead to a cure.

A combination of Ketek with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin usually works better than either treatment alone.

Ketek is usually only used for people who have not been treated before with HCV medications. If you have been treated before, your doctor may recommend a different HCV treatment.

Ketek belongs to a class of drugs called HCV protease inhibitors. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work similarly. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Ketek is also used to treat HCV in children ages 12 and older.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Ketek include:

nausea,

vomiting,

diarrhea,

stomach pain,

decreased appetite,

tiredness,

headache,

dizziness,

sleep problems (insomnia), and

itching.

Ketek can also cause serious side effects, including:

lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactic acid in the blood), which can be fatal,

severe liver damage, including liver failure,

skin reactions, and

anemia (low red blood cell count).

You should not take Ketek if you are allergic to telaprevir or any of the ingredients in Ketek. You should also not take Ketek if you have cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or other liver problems, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Before taking Ketek, talk to your doctor about all of your medical conditions and allergies. Also tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed while taking Ketek.

Tell your doctor about all of the medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Taking Ketek and ribavirin may increase your risk for serious side effects.

Dosages

The standard adult dose of Ketek for hepatitis C is two pills (400 mg) taken three times per day with food. Your doctor may adjust your dose based on your response to treatment and any side effects you experience.

Ketek should be taken for at least 12 weeks, and usually for 24 weeks.

Interactions

Ketek can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with Ketek are listed below.

Hepatitis C medications:

Peginterferon alfa ( Pegasys, ViraferonPeg)

Ribavirin (Copegus, Rebetol)

Boceprevir (Victrelis)

Simeprevir (Olysio)

Telaprevir (Incivo, Incivek)

Anti-seizure medications:

Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol)

Phenobarbital

Phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek)

St. John’s wort

This is not a complete list of Ketek drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other potential drug interactions.

Mechanism of Action

Ketek works by inhibiting the HCV protease enzyme. This helps to reduce the amount of the virus in your body and improve your liver function.

Pharmacokinetics

Ketek is a protease inhibitor that is used to treat hepatitis C. It works by inhibiting the HCV protease enzyme, which helps to reduce the amount of the virus in your body and improve your liver function.

Ketek is available as a tablet, an oral solution, or an injectable solution. The oral solution is taken three times daily with food, while the injectable solution is given once daily as an infusion.

Clinical Trials

Ketek has been studied in several clinical trials, including a Phase III trial comparing it to placebo and another Phase III trial comparing it to pegylated interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin.

In the first trial, Ketek was found to be more effective than placebo in terms of HCV RNA levels and liver function. In the second trial, Ketek was found to be non-inferior to pegylated interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin in terms of HCV RNA levels and liver function.