Viral Hepatitis C Treatment
There is no cure for hepatitis C. There are certain medications your doctor may recommend that help reduce the risk of complications. Making certain lifestyle changes will increase your chances of success with the treatment.
Treatment for hepatitis C:
If you are diagnosed with hepatitis C, you should:
Discontinue alcohol consumption immediately. The combination of alcohol with hepatitis C is particularly dangerous for many patients.
Maintain a healthy weight. Patients who are closer to their ideal weight have greater success with treatment and may experience a more benign course of the disease.
Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, if you are not already immune.
Your gastroenterologist and hepatologist (liver specialist) will discuss with you whether to start a course of medication. The medicines are expensive and often come with unpleasant side effects. Since the goal of medication is to reduce your risk of contracting cirrhosis, doctors often choose to treat only those patients who are at high risk for cirrhosis.
Treatment for hepatitis C is individualized. Your general health and preferences, along with symptoms and other conditions, will be taken into consideration. Recent advances in hepatitis C treatment have greatly improved the effectiveness of treatments, and 70 to 80 percent of patients are treated successfully.
In the past, transfusion was a major cause of hepatitis C transmission. Now, blood donors are routinely screened for hepatitis C and the incidence of post-transfusion hepatitis is significantly lower. Helping injection drug users modify their behavior has also reduced the prevalence of the disease. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine yet available for hepatitis C.