Personal stories about using antiviral therapy for hepatitis
These stories are based on information gathered from health
professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health
Barbara, age 45: My doctor says I have a good
chance of doing well on interferon. My HBV DNA test showed that I have a pretty
low level of the virus in my body. And my blood tests showed that my liver
enzymes are high. Those factors mean I might do well on the medication. And I
guess women have better success than men, so that's another thing in my favor.
I'm not wild about giving myself shots, but I'd rather do that than have major
Phil, age 28: I found out a couple of years
ago that I have hepatitis B. I thought about taking any medication I could to
help my liver. But so far, my tests show that my liver is in good shape. My
liver enzyme levels are normal, even though I still have the virus in my body.
It might not do me any good to take medications yet. I'll have my liver checked
regularly, and if things change, I'll reconsider.
Jamal, age 34: I've got diabetes as well as
infection with hepatitis B virus. That means my immune system may not be as
strong as it could be, so interferon may not help me much. But some people do
really well on entecavir. I also like the fact that I can take it as a pill and
do not have to have shots.
Teresa, age 55: I just found out I'm infected
with the hepatitis B virus. My symptoms weren't bad, just a little nausea. My
liver enzymes are up a little, but so far there is no evidence I have any
serious damage to my liver. It can take a while to develop that, and since I'm
older, it could be years away. I think I'll just keep an eye on it and visit my
doctor for checkups.
Maria G. Essig, MS, ELS
Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
October 15, 2007
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
October 15, 2007
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