An antiviral drug, which was recently approved by the US Food and
Drug Administration for treating
AIDS, has been found to have the
potential to treat chronic hepatitis B
infection too. Lamivudine, or 3TC,
.the drug manufactured by the
Glaxo Wellcome group under the
brand name Epivir, is reported to
have cured 20 hepatitis B patients
at the Massachusettes General
Hospital in the US.
Hepatitis B is a kind of liver disease usually transmitted through sexual contact or contaminated needles. So far, the only treatment has been interferon (the protein released by the body's immune system in response to an invading virus). Interferon injections, however, have side effects that the new drug hardly has.
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