Harvoni Side Effects and How To Fight Them (Quickly)

Even wonder drugs have adverse effects. Harvoni is not an exception. Harvoni side effects are, in general, mild.

Probably you're wondering:“What are side effects of Harvoni?”

We will come to that in a moment. Let us consider the next question:“How do I reduce side effects when on Harvoni?”

Side effects are given. What we can do, however, is to try to elevate them as much as possible. We'll give you two options for every side effect, such as headaches and fatigue: OTC drug (stronger) and natural remedy (milder). You can decide which works best for you.

How to do that? Let us start with a short summary of Harvoni side effects and natural supplements used to elevate them.

Harvoni side effects

Most common Harvoni side effects include and how to help you fight them:harvoni side effects

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia

Some patients complain about weight gain as well. A short diet with a help of Garcinia Cambogia (more than 10,000 reviews for weight loss) during or after treatment should bring your body weight back to normal, or even make you loose some pounds extra.

Here are some parts of the body that Harvoni can affect, according to HealthLine:

harvoni adverse effects

How Frequent are Harvoni Side effects?

How many people experience side effect because of Harvoni use? The clinical trials with genotype 1 patient have revealed what kind of side effects Harvoni causes. What is more, we learned how frequent they are.

More than 500 Hepatitis C patients were involved in such a study. They were on a standard 12-week treatment. Here are the results for Harvoni side effects, according to RxList:

  • The most common side effect of Harvoni treatment was headaches. 14% of patients suffered the most prevalent Harvoni side effect.
  • The close second was fatigue. On the whole, 13% experience being without much energy or motivation as a consequence of Harvoni treatment.
  • Nausea was seen as a side effect of Harvoni in 7% of patients.
  • Furthermore, 5% and 3% of patients suffered from nausea and diarrhea, respectively.

On a whole, patients undergoing 12-week treatment experienced less mild side effect of Harvoni such as headaches and fatigue. However, patients on 8-week or 24-week treatment didn't experience exceedingly more side effects when on Harvoni.

Here is the whole data from the clinical trials. It is worth noticing that 12-week treatment yielded the least frequency Harvoni adverse effects:

harvoni side effects table

Most Common Harvoni Adverse Effects – Fatigue and Headaches

harvoni side effects fatigue
Fatigue and Headaches

Fatigue is a drag on for most Hepatitis C patients. It is really important to do important things like work or chores when you feel you have more energy.

Taking short naps is also a great option, just don't do it before bedtime because insomnia might kick in and you won't be able to sleep.

Usually drinking water and eating healthy also raises alertness. The only problem is that most of us are doing that already even if we're not on Harvoni. It is very good that while we're on Harvoni to give ourselves extra boost of energy with vitamins, be it for 12-week or 24-week treatment.

Natural supplements to help with Fatigue or Tiredness

For More Energy

Energy boosting supplements are the usually the best choice to counter tiredness and fatigue.
Grass Green will elevate energy levels in a natural way. Caffeine supplement will boost it in a rapid way.
For Energy:Natural and MildCaffeine Energy Boost
Supplement:
Avg. Rating:4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)

Natural supplements to help with Headaches

Headaches are another matter.

Drinking plenty of fluids is always a good call as is avoiding coffee or tea because they dehydrate the body. Some people even start using detox drinks such as QCarbo16 in order to urinate more and detoxify the body.

Usually when people have headaches they use NSAID painkillers drugs like aspirin. But that is not a good idea for treating Harvoni-induced headaches because treatment lasts for 12 or so weeks, and taking aspirin every day for 12 weeks can damage stomach walls and cause ulcerous.

Most of Hepatitis C patients find milder natural and herbal supplements to do the job. Aspirin is essentially a drug while vitamins and herbal headache pills are of natural origin.

Pain Relief

Some people opt for OTC painkillers when it comes to headaches. However, that is true if you have an occasional headache. If you're having them for 3 months straight, a milder but effective version could be a smarter choice.
Pain Relief:Milder Smoothing Brain SupportStronger OTC Painkiller
Supplement:
Avg. Rating:4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)

Nausea

harvoni side effects nausea
Nausea during Hepatitis C treatment

Nausea can occur with 3-8% of Harvoni patients as a side effect, depending on the Hepatitis C treatment regime length.

This is one of Harvoni side effects that cannot be dealt with easily by drinking more or resting more often.

Most of Hepatitis C patients opt for natural remedies that are very safe to use and efficient at getting rid of nausea. For more heavy medication you will need a doctors prescription.

Anti-Nausea Choices

You can opt for stronger or milder version. What is very important when it comes to nausea is choosing the right and healthy nutrition - can make a difference.
Anti-Nausea Choices:Stronger Chewable PillsMilder Natural and Herbal
Supplement:
Avg. Rating:4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)

Diarrhea

side effect of harvoni dirrhea
Diarrhea is one of the worst side effect

One of the most unwanted side effects of Harvoni is diarrhea.

With nausea or tiredness patients can find a way to handle it, but constant diarrhea is something that can completely block us from living a normal life when on Harvoni treatment.

For use in such long periods advanced probiotics are the key.

Some things from your local store can also help; yogurt is a fine example of natural probiotic for mild cases but for longer Harvoni treatment what usually helps is advanced probiotics to combat Harvoni side effects.

Diarrhea Help

One of the smartest ways of treating diarrhea is with probiotics. If you take care of healthy bacteria in your gut, you can in many cases prevent diarrhea. For more serious cases, try referring to stronger loperamide-based medicines.
Diarrhea Help:Milder Natural ProbioticsStronger Loperamide-Based Anti-Diarrhea Medicine
Supplements:
Avg. Rating:4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)

Insomnia

Dealing with insomnia as Harvoni side effect can be tricky.

Harvoni causes fatigue. Sleep is very important to gain energy every day. However, most of the drugs prescribed for insomnia work by taking energy away from you in order to sleep. Here is a story of one Hepatitis C patients on Harvoni:

insomnia harvoni side effect

This dilemma can be solved by mild anti-insomnia aids. They are strong enough to help you sleep but you don't get drug dependency as with most insomnia prescription drugs.

Thus after Harvoni treatment everything will turn to normal and you will be able to sleep without pills, while with stronger pills there is a risk of becoming dependent and being unable to fall asleep without the pill.

For Easier Sleep

Having restless nights can be a bother and an energy drain. For mild insomnia, herbal aids can be very much effective. For extreme cases, try stronger sleeping pills.
For Easier Sleep:Milder Natural Sleeping Aid (with Chamomile)Stronger Sleeping Pills
Supplements:
Avg. Rating:4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)3.7 Stars (3.7 / 5)

Severe side effects of Harvoni

Usually common side effects such as headaches and fatigue are easier to handle with basic medicines. There are, however, severe side effects of Harvoni that occur in less than 1 in 100 patients. These can include the following:

  • Allergic reaction on skin: itching, rash, and face, lips of tongue swelling
  • Allergic reaction in lungs: tightness in chest, difficulty breathing
  • Cardiovascular: cardiac arrest, heart problems

Read more about severe side effects of Harvoni at drugs.com.

Rashes and Itching as Harvoni Side Effects

The most common severe side effect of Harvoni is a rash and itching. This is a result of an allergic reaction between sofosbuvir, active ingredient in both Harvoni and Sovaldi, and your immune system. Usually, skin or lungs are where the results of allergic reaction is most visible.

This kind of Harvoni side effects can have serious consequences. Therefore always check with your doctor about allergic reactions such a rashes or tightness in the chest.

FDA alert for Hepatitis C patients – Risk of Hepatitis B reactivation

In October 2016 FDA issued an urgent notice – some 24 patients being treated with Hepatitis C medications saw reactivation of Hepatitis B.

Here is the following statement by FDA (read full statement here):
ISSUE: The FDA is warning about the risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV) becoming an active infection again in any patient who has a current or previous infection with HBV and is treated with certain direct-acting antiviral (DAA) medicines for hepatitis C virus. In a few cases, HBV reactivation in patients treated with DAA medicines resulted in serious liver problems or death. HBV reactivation usually occurred within 4-8 weeks.

A Boxed Warning will be added to those Hepatitis C medications that cause Hepatitis B reactivation. You are advised to talk to your physician if any symptoms of Hepatitis B appear after treatment.

Here is a summary of FDA statement on Medscape.

Weight Gain as Harvoni Side Effect

Harvoni users have, among very successful cure rate, reported weight gains. It seems that weight gain is Harvoni side effect. One of the patients had this story to tell:

I'm in 8th week into 12 week Harvoni treatment. I don't have visible side effects but I have started gaining weight. I haven't changed my diet, still do lots of activities and sports, drinking plenty of fluids. Should I eat less when on Harvoni? Is weight gain Harvoni side effect?

This is not the only reference to weight gain presumably cause by Harvoni treatment. Insomnia and fatigue might be the cause for Hepatitis C patients on Harvoni to be less active and burn less calories.

However, the connection between Harvoni use and weight gain has not been officially confirmed. If you have any such kind of experiences, you can report Harvoni side effects to FDA. You will find one of the best ways of how to reduce weight gains and even lose fat is our Harvoni and weight gain section.

To prevent weight gain and ensure you stay in shape, weight loss Garcinia Cambogia is recommended. It comes in a 90 pill package that correlates to 12-week treatment and doesn't not interfere with Harvoni treatment.

Here is a testimonial of a patient with Hepatitis C taking Harvoni for 8 days.

Harvoni side effects after treatment

All Harvoni effect, the ones that cure Hepatitis C and the adverse effect, stop some days after the last Harvoni pill.

A vast majority of patients are happy because they have been healed and there in no Hepatitic C virus present in their blood. Some do inquiry about fatigue and headaches, most common Harvoni side effects, and when will the side effects go away.

Usually it takes 1-2 days for the body to clear of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir, active ingredients in Harvoni. This is very fast because both of the substances are water soluble and are easy washed out of the body via kidneys.

Patients who were suffering from side effects recover their normal state in 2 days.

Harvoni Side Effect with Alcohol

In most cases taking drugs with alcohol increases the intensity and frequency of side effects.

Harvoni side effects with alcohol have not been studied but this Hepatitis C treatment is no exception as far as consuming it together with alcohol is concerned.

Harvoni works on the liver, this is the same organ that metabolizes alcohol in order for it to leave the body. There is a high probability for interaction between Harvoni and alcohol which would increase Harvoni side effect.

In the case when a patient is a heavy drinker this might be a serious problem, and doctors advise firmly against alcohol while taking Harvoni.

harvoni with alcohol
It is known well enough that medications and alcohol don't mix well.

Patients have a lot at stake while taking Harvoni. Not only are they getting a cure for deadly Hepatitis C,

Not only are they getting a cure for deadly Hepatitis C, cost of Harvoni is also substantial with standard 12-week treatment price of $94,500 in the US.

Alcohol is an additional risk to treatment and most of the patient find the will to not touch the glass during and even after the treatment. Here is what people think about Harvoni side effects with alcohol.

Side effects of Harvoni vs Sovaldi

Sovaldi in Harvoni's predecessor with a bit lower cure rate. Sovaldi contains 400 mg of sofosbuvir, while Harvoni contains 400 mg of sofosbuvir and 90 mg of ledipasvir. The essential difference is that

The essential difference is that Harvoni contains ledipasvir and additional side effects can be due to that active substance. This would prompt us to believe that Sovaldi has less side effects than Harvoni. But in fact the opposite is true. Why?

Because in many cases treatment of Hepatitis C with Sovaldi requires to take additional ribavirin pills, and in less cases even interferon. Sovaldi, taken by itself, has similar side effects as

Sovaldi, taken by itself, has similar side effects as Harvoni to a similar degree. However, due to effects of ribavirin and interferon Hepatitic C treatment with Sovaldi has more severe side effects. Nonetheless most patients do not experience any of them and 1 in 5 might experience fatigue and headaches.

Harvoni is a stand-alone cure. Patients don't need to intake anything else to fight Hepatitic C virus and therefore has less adverse effects. Being the most successful Hep C drug on the market, it is doctor's first choice concerning Hepatitis C treatment. Considerations, however, are in place because of the high cost of Harvoni and Sovaldi.

Being the most successful Hep C drug on the market, it is doctor's first choice concerning Hepatitis C treatment. Considerations, however, are in place because of the high cost of Harvoni and Sovaldi.

Importance of Taking Care of Your Liver

Hepatitis C treatment will only get rid of your Hepatitis C-related problems.

It is important to always take care of your liver, before treatment, during treatment as well as after treatment. The best way to keep the lift and keep the healthy liver functions is by having a healthy and balanced diet as well as exercising. Natural supplements can additionally boost liver functions and speed up liver detoxification.

liver support detox for hepatitis c patients

There are some very good liver detoxification natural supplements such as Liver Cleanse Detox Supplements containing milk thistle and uva-ursi extract to name just a few. Liver Cleanse Detox does not only help upkeep normal liver functions, but also boosts energy and promotes weight loss.

Other natural supplements for liver detoxification and healthy liver functions include:

Keep in mind that using natural supplements can slow down the process of liver cirrhosis in Hepatitis C patients, according to several key studies.

Side effects of Harvoni were discovered in clinical trials

Gilead Sciences, the company making Harvoni and Sovaldi, conducted thorough clinical studies prior to FDA approval in order to best evaluate side effects Hep C patients might expect when using Harvoni.

Harvoni side effects come from active molecules called sofosbuvir and ledipasvir. Sovaldi, on the other hand, consists only of 400 mg of sofosbuvir, and has thus less side effects than Harvoni. Nonetheless, doctors and patient alike prefer Harvoni despite $94,500 price per treatment because of its effectiveness fighting Hepatitis C virus – successful cure rate it over 95%.

Harvoni side effects are general for all Hepatitis C genotypes. However, some medication side effects are specific to each Hep C genotype. In this article we will answer they questions and what are Harvoni side effects, how common are Harvoni side effects and what are the best solutions to lessen side effects of Harvoni.

Share your Harvoni side effects

Most everything we know about new drug side effects comes from clinical studies done by Gilead in the case of Harvoni.

With people being prescribed the drugs we gain new knowledge about possible Harvoni side effects. So if you have some insight or personal experience with side effects of Harvoni, please state them in the comments to help other Hepatitis C patients on Harvoni understand what they can expect and how to treat it.

It is very important to know what side effects of any drug are in order to understand than things like fatigue and headaches in the case of Harvoni side effects are natural. This is also how we get to know how to treat such side effects, by the use of B12 vitamin or advanced probiotics and so on.

We would wish everybody on Harvoni to be side effect free. It truly is a wonderful drug with over 95% cure rate of a deadly disease. Few adverse effects of Harvoni only make it a better medicine.

52 thoughts on “Harvoni Side Effects and How To Fight Them (Quickly)

  • September 15, 2016 at 6:10 pm
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    I have just picked up my script for my 8 week treatment of harvoni.. im genotype 3a,37 years old and was diagnosed 5 years ago. No damage to my liver so far but high viral count. Feeling very scared about starting the course,i already suffer from depression and anxiety,which includes symptoms of itching,fatigue and i quite often get headaches too. If i already suffer these symptoms then what are my chances of them intensifying while on harvoni? Single mum to an 18 year old who is very needy and sick herself with 1 diagnosed auto immune disease plus a lot more symptoms that we haven’t been able to get answers for till we see more specialists. I know i need to do this and just hope for the best,no support network to lean on so it has to be ok right??

  • August 28, 2016 at 6:54 am
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    10 tablets left of 12 week course, lower legs and forearms broken skin from itching and scratching I went and covered myself with scabies cream, before reading of these comments, lol, God Bless you all!

  • August 26, 2016 at 2:00 am
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    I’m on a 12 week treatment plan of Harvoni with just a couple weeks left to go. The only side effects I have experienced is rapid weight gain, and a crazy itchy scalp, down into nape of neck with a swollen lymphnode just below back of my skull & 1 on my neck below the ear, just this last week the same itchiness is now in my pubic area. I can assure you its not lice, scabies etc. Seems to be where there is hair there is itch. I talked to my Liver specialist’ nurse about the itchy scalp & she said that is not part of the side effects & to contact my pcp. I disagree..I have read many postings on different forums & I’m not alone scratching my head..& now my crotch! Uggh! The first 8 weeks I had horrible heartburn on occcasion. Overall I would say I have been pretty fortunate..small price to pay for a cure..and Im not referring to the cost when I say that! Fortunate again in that, with my Insurance I was only out of pocket $ 5 bucks.

  • August 25, 2016 at 1:43 am
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    I was on a 12wk course of Harvoni. .I did develop joint pain about 2wks into treatment. .I was hoping it would gradually get better but has got a lot worse!
    My fingers wrists elbows and feet have been in agony since I stopped the treatment also my ulcerative colitis has came back after being in remission for over 7yrs..Happy to be rid of the hep c but left with a new set of problems isn’t what I expected! ..let’s hope it gradually improves!

  • August 14, 2016 at 2:07 am
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    Just finished 12 week treatment 2 days ago and have gained weight, my feet and hands are swollen, especially my right foot and big toe.
    Headaches only sometimes and fatigue always.
    BP increased and I monitor everyday with a calm demeanour.
    I do feel internally ‘energised’ and my eyes are clear and also my memory seems sharper.
    After carrying the HCV for 34 yrs at 54 yrs young I am looking forward to the rest of my life focussing on the postives and dealing with the rest in a coordinated and relaxed fashion.
    There will always be complications with antivrals and we all react differently to meds in one form or another. My aim is remain upbeat and take every day as it comes without getting too scientific about it.
    I wish everyone the best of luck and may peace be with you all.
    Be methodical and try to remain calm.
    We all knew this wasn’t giing to be a walk in the park and there would be side affects we need to navigate though.
    Best Wishes to you all. 🌻

  • August 8, 2016 at 8:04 pm
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    I have been taking harvoni since July 4.. I feel worse than I did before I started treatment. I’ve had a tremendous drop in my strength and energy.constant Pain in and around my eyes, headahes, joint pain in hands, elbows, knees and feet. when I go outside in the sun I feel like I’m going to pass out. The nurse told me to avoid the sun. My face is puffy and my color does not look good. I am eating food constantly!! I’m afraid to see how much weight I have gained.I have an appointment with the doctor in a week and a half going to have blood work done on that day. I’m curious to find out my viral numbers, before treatment it was 9 and a half million. If I had known the sun/heat was going to be an issue I would have waited until winter time to start harvoni

  • August 8, 2016 at 6:09 am
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    Hi all. Glad to have found this forum. I am almost 10 weeks into the 12-week course of Sovaldi/Ribavirin. I am determined to finish this out, as I have endured much worse for much longer (and lived to bitch about it). I have Genome Type #2. Up until just a couple of weeks ago, the most obvious & noticeable side effect I’ve had is a pseudo acid-reflux characterized by a chemical taste that’s not alleviated by ANYthing, or seemingly CAUSED by anything, either. The last couple/three weeks have thrown some curveballs that are more troublesome. First: a compressed nerve (supposedly) that resulted in my hand being paralyzed, with “dropped wrist” being the most obvious, but the fingers also. At about the 12-week mark, though, it got soo much better (maybe at 75%). While I was still in the “gratitude glow” (I can write! Put on mascara! Make a ponytail!), at about one week, my ANKLE (other side of the body) suddenly “dropped” with paralysis of the toes, and an inability to do the heel-to-toe motion. Same week, needed 2 units of blood transfused, with more likely to come following an appointment this week. (RBC & Hemoglobin seriously low.) NOW, a blistery painful rash throughout the pelvic region and spreading onto the upper legs (and looking exactly like some examples shown via Google Images.) REALLY painful, and spreading (tho not quickly, like shingles) with the blisters not really oozing, just busting open & looking VERY angry. At first I thought it might be fungal in nature (before searching for Rashes associated with Sovaldi), but there wasn’t a quick response when applying anti-fungal creams or powders. My question, in an immediate sense, is: IS THERE ANYTHING TO HELP THESE BLISTERS, of a topical nature? (God forbid there be a quick fix, right?) The bloodwork is being monitored & addressed, and I can mainly just hope my foot recovers like my hand did. (Come on, 2-week Finish Line!) But this rash is really painful & people INSIST that I not run around naked, but anything even touching this skin makes me wanna cry. And no one wants to see that! Please help! And good luck & health to ya’ll.

  • July 27, 2016 at 12:39 am
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    My brother is two days from being finished with a 12 week treatment. He has suffered some emotional side effects like crying and depression. This all started about 3-4 weeks into treatment and has continued. He is on multiple medications, he received a liver transplant in Nov, 2015. These problems never surfaced until treatment was started. I spoke with his doctors and he/she say they have had multiple people claim they too have suffered with emotional side effects. Has anyone else had this problem? I sure hope they subside after treatment is finished. Thank You…oh and how long does this medication take to get out of your system?

    • September 10, 2016 at 8:52 pm
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      Your Ulcerative Colitis may have flared up if you had possibly been using Asprin or Preparations with Asprin even small amounts seeing that you were on 12week treatment you must of been taking the ledipasvir/sofosbuvir Harvoni which makes it worse if you take asprin you really must get advice from your clinican/GP with any medication herbal or perscriptive or over the counter pharmacy products…as any thing you take eat drink needs to be partly processed by your liver …..

  • July 8, 2016 at 2:55 am
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    Hi all- in my second week had severe diarhea for 2days and normally would have lost wt. but i gained 4lbs-much gastric upset -no other probs tho so far – great dreams!!

  • July 5, 2016 at 5:49 am
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    have finished treatment but am concerned about blood spots coming on my skin . comes on like a rash but turns my skin like a bruise
    ,also at times feels like cold water in my veins

    • July 27, 2016 at 12:40 am
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      My brother has the same issue. Sure hope these go away in time. Reminds me of a elderly person skin on their arms.

  • June 26, 2016 at 7:32 pm
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    Has anyone had high iron in their liver during or finished with harvoni ?

  • June 14, 2016 at 3:10 am
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    I have finished my treatment with Harvoni and l have lost 22lbs and l am looking like I have cancer. Before taking treatment, I was weighing 220lbs and I was able to work my job without difficulty. My HCV counts are normal after 40yrs, but I am looking bad. Something is wrong.

  • May 27, 2016 at 6:31 pm
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    I’ve just started my 6th week on the Harvoni generic MyHep LVIR – and I am in hospital now. After a bit more then 4 weeks I couldn’t feel and use my left food correctly. And this is still the case. The doctors in the hospital of the University in Basel (Switzerland) didn’t find any reason for that. Do anyone else make the same experience? I have Hep C genotype 4. The virus is actually nearly defeated.

  • May 15, 2016 at 8:08 pm
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    Prior interferon-containing combo treatments had side effects that included anemia, depression , and flu-like symptoms among others.

  • May 15, 2016 at 2:31 am
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    Dear all

    Warm greetings

    Any one having experience of reduced platelets during the Hepatitis C treatment. Currently I am taking treatment for Hepatitis C – Ledispavir and sofusvir and running in 5th month. My platelet level gradually reduced and now 120. Please share any one has experiencing on this.

    • June 26, 2016 at 7:29 pm
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      My platlet levels have been as loww as 22, after 6 mos on harvoni and 2 mos off my platets are 50, if you need surgery they wabt your count to be about 80 !

      • July 27, 2016 at 12:27 am
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        If your platelet counts are 80 you had better be speaking to a physician very soon. No dr would want someones platelets that low. Normals platelet count is 150,000 to 450,000. I do not know who told you they wanted your platelets to be an 80 bit they do not know what they are talking about.

        • August 1, 2016 at 9:29 am
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          80 is not a correct platelet figure. It is probably 80,000

  • May 8, 2016 at 6:00 am
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    I am into week 6 of Harvoni….had minimal side effects….chest tightness..bit of insomnia…day 2 of week 6…vomiting.nausea…lactose intolerance…weightloss…heartburn…take tablet same time every night…it 4.00pm…looking at clock with dread…knowing whats coming…is my body rejecting the Harvoni????…

    • July 27, 2016 at 12:28 am
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      Why are you taking Harvoni in the evening? This is a morning time medication.

  • May 8, 2016 at 1:51 am
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    Hep c, genotype 4, female 48yrs, contracted hep c in 1992-94(?)
    I am on day 3 of 12 week trial treatment in Canada
    Side effects: Nausia ( minimal if I eat with meds in am)
    Headaches ( moderate)
    Itchy skin ( prone to dry skin but this is crazy! Scratch marks wherever I can reach- I scratch at night without realizing.
    Insomnia: mild
    Good luck to all!!!

  • May 7, 2016 at 8:37 pm
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    I am on day 20 of a 12 week treatment of Harvoni. I have Genotype 1a since blood transfusion in 1974. VL was just over 800,000, so not in the millions like others and fibrosis score 0.66. I am having constipation, nausea, severe GI problems/ gut pain. I also have back pain and joint pain, fatigue, weird dreams. I keep finding more people in forums who have way more symptoms than Gilead lists. Also reading alot about symptoms are staying with people for months and longer after treatment.
    I am wondering why so many are on a 8 week treatment and some on a 12?
    I really do not want to take this drug any longer than I have to.
    The GI specialist I saw got me the drug and set up NO follow up. I am depending on my primary Dr. to do all of that and he is willing to study.
    Not sure what he will have to say as I won’t see him until 1 month into treatment. This drug is scarry to see so many having problems with it.
    I did not study enough before hand on these side effects and now am worried about long term problems.

    • May 22, 2016 at 5:43 pm
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      I, too, have had more than ‘just’ headache, insomnia, and nausea.
      My treatment is/was for 8 weeks….in response to your question the length of time is determined by your type of hepC, prior treatments, present lab values for liver status and viral load and general blood work, as I understand it.
      I just finished 8 weeks a week ago . My severe nausea and gut pain…was in ER one night with it…and headaches are all greatly reduced already. And I can SLEEP for first time in two months. Yea!!
      However I had other side effects, too. Much muscle spasms and aching which increased during treatment, joint pain mainly in ankles and hands, and fatigue. Since I also have cervical and lumbar stenosis both of which I’ve had surgery for, the pain was confusing as to source. ..except it increased so much on Harvoni. And the painful muscle spasms were new on Harvoni.
      Now off Harvoni, only a week, I realize, but the muscle/joint pain, spasms, weakness seem worse. Perhaps because my gut has quieted down I am just noticing these more? I don’t know. What I do know is that these side effects seem to be under reported and I do hope they are short term
      As I write this today I am having much difficulty walking even taking pain meds and using a walker.
      My viral count is now ZERO . For that I am grateful….after 35 years of hepC received from blood transfusion.

    • September 10, 2016 at 9:01 pm
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      The reason why some people have an 8 week treatment is in relation to their genotype& if they have liver damage chirrosis etc they don’t use as much Harvoni…

  • May 6, 2016 at 12:41 pm
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    Hep C Genotype 1A; diagnosed 1993, infected sometime between 1984-1993
    Failed treatments twice with Interferon/Ribaviran and Interferon/Ribaviron/Telaprevir

    Very relieved to hear of Harvoni head as I have been experiencing anxiety and short-temperedness since day three; on day seven now. Vivid dreams and memory glitches.
    Taking the Harvoni in the morning and haven’t experienced any problems with the other listed side-effects.

  • May 6, 2016 at 3:03 am
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    Are the side effects permanent?
    My husband has been on Harvoni for 6 weeks. He is experiencing severe eye adema. His eyes are swollen shut every morning. He had gained weight in his abdomen, has heart burn daily, his hands are swollen and he has an unsteady urine stream.
    We have seen several specialists looking for answers. The liver specialist said he does not think it’s from the Harvoni because those side effects are rare.
    They have upped his diaretic meds, added benadryl, zyrtec and flomax. Nothing seems to make it better.
    He twitches while he sleeps. It’s very scary.
    Once he’s finished with this harvoni, will he return to normal?
    He’s been through so much in the last two years, Coratid artery surgery plus triple bypass and then aspergillus affected 5 ribs with another surgery and 6 months of intervenious antibiotics and anti fungal pills.

  • May 2, 2016 at 2:09 pm
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    NO SIDE EFFECTS……………….

    Day 4 of Harvoni 8 week treatment. Diagnosed in 2000 and working with my Hep doctor we agreed to wait until a better resolution arrived thus Harvoni. Genotype 1 – viral load 3350000 IU/mL.Liver Stiffness Assessment:
    Mean:1.17 m/s
    Median: 1.15 m/s
    IQR / Median ratio: 0.17
    I also have Psoriatic Arthritis which may be affected by the Hep C so my hope is that clearing C will have some benefits.

    I am extremely fortunate as my medical plan is covering the $56,000.00 tag for 8 weeks and I have a total copay of 10 bucks.

    Now I had to work for this approval and I encourage all that are struggling with there med plan to do the same. I was able to get my Rheumatologist and Hepatologist to write letters for me showing I couldn’t receive treatment for Psoriatic Arthritis until the Hep C cleared and my Hep Doc reinforced his comments as well as stating I was a good candidate for full recovery due to low viral load and my liver condition. One week later it was approved.

    So far no side effects at all sleeping well (I take 3 or 4 hits of Marijuana right before bed to help with arthritic pain and I sleep all night it’s the only time I use it). I was a causal wine and beer drinker but I chose to abstain from all alcohol until I complete treatment and have been cleared.
    I was very worried after reading many comments from individuals about the side effects. I spoke with my Doc and he said he has treated and cleared over 200 patients with extremely minimal side effects. I think if you are going to post on this site about your side effects you need to be completely transparent and lay out everything else that is wrong with you and other drugs you are taking as this may explain your sides better to us who worry and don’t have your specific conditions.

    I will try and keep you all updated….

  • May 1, 2016 at 11:02 pm
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    Terrible diarrhoea, fairly constant, and severe exacerbation of pre existing gastric reflux disease (worsened also by having to cut back on my protein pump inhibitors) but only 4 weeks to go. I can make it!!

  • April 22, 2016 at 3:56 am
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    I wonder if it makes a difference at what time of the day it is taken. does anyone have any comment on that? I’ve been taking it in the morning so far

    • April 26, 2016 at 1:41 am
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      My doctor told me it does not matter as long as you take it the same time every day. I usually go to bed around 11 or 12, so I decided to take it at night due to the fact that it causes fatigue. I figured I would be able to sleep better and I wouldn’t be so tired during the day. I usually feel pretty good during the day, but start to get really, really tired around 3 p.m., which is ok because I only have about 2 hours left at work. Night time worked best for me. I have one more pill to take. I was on an 8 week treatment.

  • April 22, 2016 at 3:55 am
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    I am only up to day 5 but getting worse and worse heartburn. Today I ate breakfast and had Yukult before taking it so has helped slightly. Fingers crossed this won’t continue because it is very uncomfortable. Yes, headaches but they say that is ‘normal’

  • April 13, 2016 at 11:15 am
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    IS THERE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT UPPER GASTROINTESTINAL BLEEDING WHILE USING HARVONI

  • April 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm
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    I am on my last week of the 12 week treatment. I have had all the usual side effects with the 20 pound weight gain. I almost quit a couple of times. I am hoping that the weight will come back off after I have the energy to return to the gym. At 2 weeks I was afraid to work out as I was already experiencing dizziness and severe fatigue. The worst part was that I felt fine before treatment And had to be shown the Hep C results as I didn’t believe I had it. But it’s almost over now and hopefully I can lose weight and get normal again

  • March 12, 2016 at 8:36 pm
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    I had patchy itchy spots from day two. Like a traveling itch all over. By week 12 I had a full back rash. Red raised small bumps when scratched a tiny hard like sand granules came out. My nausea seemed to be caused by excessive acid production and was minimal if taken after eating with large glasses of water to flush. Small frequent meals. Headaches were unpredictable but we’re lessened if I tanked up on water before taking the drug. When they did start they were relentless even on aspirin or ibuprofen. I had all my tendons tight , shrinking and feeling like clusters of hot spots in them. Stretching helped but sometimes I felt like they were tearing.
    Most of the tight tendons is now gone three months later.
    While on the drug I had difficulty formulating language, like word searching and stammering. Memory was off having to keep a calendar and Mark off each day so as not to miss. I did miss one day but I still was hep c negative at the end of therapy. I also experienced photophobia.
    I wish my health care practitioner would be more aware of the possible side affects as I have been poo pooed when trying to seek resolution and supportive care while on this medication. The one call I made to the office regarding severe rash was not answered for 28 hours and I was told to see my primary care, that I don’t have. I was told it is not harvoni by the secretary. I had to treat myself, buy benadryl and keep it close to me for an emergency dose if I needed it. I chose to continue the therapy for the remaining week.
    While on the medication I craved sugar. Insatiable sweet cravings not the kind you can talk yourself out of. I am 12 pounds up in weight.
    Vivid dreaming of old memories.
    Hope this is helpful to anyone that has experienced the same.

    • April 24, 2016 at 4:10 pm
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      I too have a horrible rash and itching, on scalp, back and arms. I am weeks into treatment an 8 weeks treatment. No other major side effects , so far. I did have itchy skin fro the hep c. But, nothing like this. II am hoping this rash and sever itching will go away when tradment is finished. To rid myself, of this disease, I am determined to hang in there.

  • January 11, 2016 at 3:37 am
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    On week 2 of Harvoni. Day 3 started a pounding headache at 3am. Day 4 did the same thing at the same time. The worst side effect so far is the UTI that developed on day 3. I haven’t had one in almost a decade, and all I drink is water. I’m certain it is caused by the treatment. I’ve been drinking cranberry juice in addition to water. It has not progressed, but it also has not gone away. Thanks for sharing this website. I hope the remainder of my treatment goes ok.

    • August 10, 2016 at 4:31 am
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      Lindsay,
      I am curious how it turned out for you with the UTI? How old are you? I have had issues with UTI’s for years and after trying everything possible, I found a few solutions. First. Over counter cranberry juice is NOT the answer. Get the pure stuff from healthfood store but better is the ingredient from the healthfood store that comes in a white powder and doesn’t really have a taste! This is the best in some tea or even water as it has no taste. Also, at 44, I have started menopause and dryness is an issue. Keeping myself moisturized with astroglide in my feminine are helps tremendously. And I seriously have tried everything and go to best doctors at Baylor in Houston and this is the best advice given to me by a women gynecologist and after explaining the dryness and how it harbors bacteria, it truly makes sense and seems to work…..especially if you’re sexually active. Apply in the morning and at night and after sex. I would like to know how your experience with Harvoni tured out with the issues of UTI. I am about 3 weeks from finishing the 12 week trial.:) So far so good but take melatonin for insomnia. Started having UTI but started the moisturizibg and has helped tremendously.

    • August 28, 2016 at 6:44 am
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      try D- Manosse, google, maybe health food store, apparent miracle for UTI !

  • December 28, 2015 at 1:07 pm
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    I have been on the medication for 8 weeks and an getting numbing in right arm every morning and Sometime during the day. I have not read that from any of the other side effects from other people .

  • December 10, 2015 at 8:22 pm
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    I took Harvoni for 12 weeks. The first week, I experienced nausea. All throughout, I had severe stomach burn. Around week five, I felt lethargic and that continued for several weeks post treatment. I am just now 12 weeks post treatment and will have labs tomorrow. I also gained weight over course of treatment and lost muscle. I am active and was active during treatment. I have still not regained full strength. I found the treatment much more tolerable than the INCIVEK triple combo where I lost half of my normal vision. Pray for a cure..

  • December 9, 2015 at 4:27 am
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    The most bothersome. Side effects I have had is weight gain and I feel like my brain is in a dense fog sometimes. The headaches seen to be getting worse , but I only have 2 more weeks left .I’m very

    • December 9, 2015 at 11:35 am
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      Dear Peggy,

      more and more patients are experiencing the problems with weight gain. With Harvoni putting immune system in hyperdrive and headaches, it is reasonable that less motivation for activity and muscle mass loss would lead to weight gain over 3 months period. However, the originator does not state weight gain as a side effect – only fatigue, headaches and so forth are considered.

      With the amount of people sharing their weight gain experiences on Harvoni, we’re looking to gather the information and present it in our next article. Currently we’re looking for solution of how to reduce weight gain when knowing full well Hepatitis C patients on Harvoni are often weakened by fatigue. The weight loss program that was put forward by two of the patients as suggestion is so called fat diminisher program which prompts fat burning and leads to weight loss.

      Happy to hear that you have only 2 weeks left. The headaches should go away and you’re very likely to get more motivated for outdoor activities that will give you additional energy and will help your weight loss considerably.

      Best,
      Roger Monroe

      • April 16, 2016 at 6:01 am
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        Still having weight gain after 2 month of being completed with three months of the daily bill. I am so upset never been far like this . Very uncountable,

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