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Hep C Treatment: A General Overview

February 26th, 2013 at 8:29 am

Treatment of short-term (acute) hepatitis C

Most people who have acute hepatitis C don’t get treated, because they don’t know that they have the virus.

If a person knows that he or she may have been exposed to the virus-such as a health care worker who is stuck by a needle-acute hepatitis C can be found early. Most people who are known to have an acute hepatitis C infection get treated with medicine. In these cases, treatment may help prevent long-term (chronic) infection, although there is still some debate over when to begin treatment and how long to treat acute hepatitis C.

Treatment of long-term (chronic) hepatitis C

It is common for people to live with hepatitis C for years without knowing they have it, because they do not have symptoms. So most people diagnosed with hepatitis C find out that they already have long-term, chronic infection.

If your blood tests and liver biopsy show that you have chronic infection but no damage to your liver, you may not need treatment. If you do have some liver damage, you may be treated with a combination of medicines that fight the viral infection.

Whether or not you take medicines to treat hepatitis C, you will need to have routine blood tests to help your doctor know how well your liver is working.

If you decide not to be treated with medicines, your doctor will want to watch you closely and may want to do a   liver biopsy every 4 or 5 years to check for damage in your liver.

Some people who at first decide not to have treatment later decide they want to have it.

The medicines usually used to treat hepatitis C are interferons combined with ribavirin plus a protease inhibitor such as boceprevir (Victrelis) or telaprevir (Incivek). They are used for 6 months to a year and help your body get rid of the virus.

To read more, go to http://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/hepc-guide/hepatitis-c-treatment-overview

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