— Christine M. Kukka, Project Manager, HBV Advocate
The antiviral telbivudine (Tyzeka), may not be as potent as other hepatitis B antivirals, but it appears to have a unique quality—it appears to “protect” the kidneys against damage usually linked to antiviral treatment, according to an article in the December issue of the Journal of Viral Hepatitis.
Some antivirals, including adefovir (Hepsera), cause kidney damage, but in an unusual twist, telbivudine appears to somehow protect kidneys.
To evaluate how much kidney protection telbivudine confers, researchers monitored kidney (renal) function in 831 hepatitis B patients who received a combination of antivirals for 96 weeks, including:
Telbivudine and adefovir
Adefovir plus lamivudine
Adefovir plus entecavir
and entecavir alone
Among the five treatment groups, significant improvements in kidney function was observed in the adefovir plus telbivudine and adefovir plus lamivudine groups over the study period. Improvements were most significant in patients who began telbivudine when their kidney function was not up to par.
“In conclusion, our results suggest that the combination therapy of telbivudine and adefovir is significantly associated with renoprotective effects in chronic hepatitis B patients when compared with other adefovir-based combination or single (antiviral) therapies,” the researchers wrote.