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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Oct;50(7):738-750. doi: 10.1111/apt.15476. Epub 2019 Aug 25.

Review article: direct-acting antivirals for the treatment of HCV during pregnancy and lactation - implications for maternal dosing, foetal exposure, and safety for mother and child.

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Department of Pharmacy, Radboud Institute of Health Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Radboud Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
MRC Clinical Trials Unit at University College London, London, UK.
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



With the global efforts to eradicate hepatitis C virus (HCV), treatment during pregnancy is becoming a priority for research as this, and maternal cure should reduce vertical transmission. However, as information on the efficacy and safety of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) in pregnancy is generally lacking, treatment of HCV infection during pregnancy is not currently recommended.


To provide an overview of current knowledge regarding maternal exposure, placental handling and safety of DAAs during pregnancy and lactation METHODS: A literature search was performed focusing on the effect of pregnancy on maternal exposure to DAAs, the placental handling of DAAs, the safety of DAAs for mother and child during pregnancy and the safety of DAAs during lactation.


Exposure to all DAAs studied is likely to be altered during pregnancy, mostly related to pregnancy-induced effects on drug absorption and metabolism. Although animal studies show that most DAAs are reported to cross the placenta and transfer into breast milk, most DAA combinations show a favourable safety profile. Because of the rapid viral decline after treatment initiation, and to avoid the critical period of organogenesis, treatment may be started at the end of the second trimester or early third trimester.


Treatment of HCV infection during pregnancy is realistic, as DAAs are highly effective and treatment duration is relatively short. There is an urgent need to study DAAs during pregnancy and lactation to contribute to the goal of HCV elimination.

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