Learn more about the types of hepatitis C treatment medications, and whether you are eligible for the new hepatitis C treatment options.
The number one cause of liver cancer, hepatitis C is also the number one reason people have to undergo liver transplantations. This medical condition is the result of contracting a virus by coming into contact with infected blood. Sometimes, hepatitis C can spread through sexual intercourse too. Though it is a curable condition, the rate of cure stayed at lower than 50 percent for the longest time. Most of the hepatitis C treatment options put the patient through a lot of pain and turmoil. Standard treatment options included painful injection of interferon medication as well as ribavirin pills. Instead of working on the virus that is causing the illness, these medications worked by boosting your immune system to fight off the virus better – but fight you had to. Times have changed since, and new hepatitis C treatment options are working in a quicker, safer, and painless way. Here is everything you need to know about hepatitis C treatment and what you can expect from it.
Will You Be Treated At All?
The first thing to understand is that you may or may not get any form of hepatitis C treatment depending on a number of factors such as how much damage has already been caused to your liver (is it worth saving?), how much of the HCV (hepatitis C virus) you actually have in your body, what other health conditions you are handling, and lastly, what genotype of the HCV you have. The problem is that the medication used in standard hepatitis C treatment tends to cause severe side effects, and may or may not even work for you.
Acute Hepatitis C Treatment
You can only get treated for a specific medical condition like hepatitis C if you know that you have the condition in the first place, or you suspect that you may have it and get diagnosed. Most people with acute hepatitis C do not even know that they have contracted the virus, and therefore, go without any kind of hepatitis C treatment. If detected early enough, hepatitis C treatment for acute cases is done with medication. When treated early and for long enough, people with acute hepatitis C have good chances of being cured, and may never contract long-term or chronic hepatitis C infection.
Chronic Hepatitis C Treatment
It is common for people to have hepatitis C and not know about it, simply because the condition does not cause too many visible symptoms in its early stages. By the time diagnosis takes place, the HCV has progressed to become a chronic infection that requires long-term hepatitis C treatment. The standard hepatitis C treatment for chronic cases involves taking a course of a combination of antiviral drugs for a time period ranging between 12 weeks to a year. These antiviral medications work by actively fighting the viral infection, and preventing complications such as liver cancer and liver cirrhosis because of HCV. Along with the medication, your doctor will have appear for routine blood examinations to make sure that the medications are working, and your liver is functioning at optimum levels.
These medications have severe side effects, and some people have chosen to not get treated for the condition at all. Another potential problem is that even if you do stick with the treatment for a full year, there still exists the chance that the virus continues to stay on in your body. Your doctor can help you understand the pros and cons of standard hepatitis C treatment, and whether it is the right option for you.
What’s New in Hepatitis C Treatment?
The standard hepatitis C treatment option is still in play. However, there have been several breakthroughs when it comes to hepatitis C treatment. More and more people with HCV are now being cured with the help of many injection-free hepatitis C treatment options that have been approved for use since 2014. The new hepatitis C treatment pills need to be taken daily for just a few weeks, and the whole treatment can be done at home.
However, the catch is that these new treatments may not work in all cases. There are multiple genotypes of hepatitis C, with Type 1 being the most common affliction. Not all of the medications work on all types of hepatitis C. The efficacy of the new hepatitis C treatment medications also depends on the level of cirrhosis your liver has already endured. Daclatasvir, Zepatier, Ledipasvir and Harvoni, Viekira Pak, and Technivie are just a few of the new hepatitis C treatment options. Speak to your doctor about the possibility of using one of the new hepatitis C treatment medications to treat your condition.