Chronic Hepatitis B infection: Principles of therapy

Kimberly K. Scarsi, Kristin M. Darin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Chronic hepatitis B is a global health concern in many resource-limited settings due to perinatal or pediatric hepatitis B virus transmission. In the United States, pediatric infection has been virtually eliminated due to maternal screening during pregnancy and the availability of an effective vaccine. However, young adults remain an at-risk group for hepatitis B virus infection due to sexual transmission and injection drug use. The frequency of progression from acute hepatitis B virus infection to chronic hepatitis B infection depends on multiple factors, including host immune function and age at time of hepatitis B virus infection. Fortunately, there are 7 currently approved therapies for chronic hepatitis B infection, and several emerging therapies that show promise. Despite the availability of these agents, many clinical questions still surround chronic hepatitis B therapy including when to start therapy, which agent is ideal for first and second line therapy, the appropriate duration of therapy, and the role of combination antiviral therapy. This review focuses on agents available for chronic hepatitis B management, including pharmacology, safety and efficacy data, monitoring parameters, and the role for each in chronic hepatitis B therapy in adult patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-387
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Chronic hepatitis B
  • Interferon
  • Nucleoside and nucleotide analogues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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