What are the Common Side Effects of Treatment?

Almost all people experience some side effects from treatment; however, it’s difficult to predict who will experience which type of side effect. Some side effects are mild and don’t last long. Others are more significant, require your doctor’s attention, and last throughout treatment. Most side effects go away after treatment is stopped.

Some common side effects include the following:

Pegylated interferon

  • Flu-like symptoms (headache, fever, body aches)
  • Low red blood cell count (anemia)
  • Low white blood cell count (leukopenia)
  • Low platelet count (thrombocytopenia)
  • Disturbed sleep (insomnia)
  • Depression or anxiety


  • Low red blood cell count (anemia)
  • Hair thinning
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cough
  • Rash


  • Low red blood cell count (anemia)
  • Taste changes
  • Fatigue


  • Low red blood cell count (anemia)
  • Rash
  • Itching (pruritis)
  • Taste changes


  • Increased chance of sunburn (photosensitivity)
  • Rash
  • Itching


Generally well-tolerated.  Most common side effects related to combination therapy are the following:
Sofosbuvir + ribavirin: fatigue, headache
Sofosbuvir + ribavirin + peg-interferon: fatigue, headache, nausea, insomnia, anemia

Discuss any side effects you experience with your doctor. He or she may be able to treat them by giving you other medicines to treat these side effects, or to adjust the doses of peg-interferon or ribavirin. This can only be done by your doctor, and it is important to closely follow his or her recommendations.