What Are My Options for Treatment?
Watch as Dr. Joseph K. Lim, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the Yale Viral Hepatitis Program at the Yale University School of Medicine shares with you treatment options for viral Hepatitis C.
You may or may not receive treatment for Hepatitis C. It depends on several factors, including:
- How much virus you have in your body (your viral load)
- What type (genotype) of Hepatitis C you have
- If you have liver damage, such as cirrhosis
- What other health conditions you have
- The response to any previous treatments for Hepatitis C
Treatment is not always an option because the medications used to treat Hepatitis C have serious side effects, are expensive, and do not work for everyone.
Acute (short-term) Hepatitis C
Most people with acute Hepatitis C do not get treated because they do not know they have the virus. However, if a person knows that they may have been exposed to the virus – like a healthcare worker who gets a needle stick – acute Hepatitis C can be identified early and medication may be recommended.
Doctors sometimes just recommend bed rest, drinking lots of fluids, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding alcohol. You must see your doctor regularly for follow-up blood tests to make sure your body has fully recovered from the virus.
Chronic (long-term) Hepatitis C
If your blood tests and liver biopsy show that you have a chronic infection but no damage to your liver, you may not need immediate treatment. If you do have liver damage, you may be treated with a combination of antiviral medications intended to clear the virus from your body.