Taking any medicine correctly is extremely important. Taking medicines correctly means:
- not skipping doses
- taking the medicine as instructed, such as with or without food
- not running out of the medicine before you have picked up your refill
- not stopping the treatment earlier than planned
For hepatitis C drugs, these issues are especially important because, if a medicine is not taken correctly, it may not kill the virus completely. Then, because the virus has “seen” the drug, it learns how to mutate and change in ways that allow it to escape the drug and avoid getting killed off. This is called drug resistance.
Developing drug resistance is a serious issue. It means that the treatment may not work and that the patient may not respond to future treatments.
To prevent drug resistance, it is important to take any medication correctly.
Resistance can develop quickly. It is very important to take these new antiviral medications according to instructions, on schedule, and not to skip or reduce doses