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When Hepatitis C Worsens

Treating Specific Complications continued...

If you have fluid buildup in your belly (ascites), your doctor may prescribe diuretics. These help remove fluids from your body. A special needle can withdraw large amounts of fluid, if needed. Because fluid buildup puts you at risk for infection, you may also need oral or intravenous (IV) antibiotics.

If you have pressure buildup in a portal vein leaving the liver, medications such as beta-blockers may help reduce blood pressure in this vein and elsewhere in the body.

If you have bleeding in the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach, your doctor will immediately check for enlarged blood vessels. Compressing these vessels with a special device may stop any bleeding. You may need medication to help prevent future bleeding.

If you have a buildup of toxins in the brain,you may need a laxative because it helps remove toxins from the blood. Reducing the amount of protein you eat can also help take some stress off the liver. Sometimes you also need antibiotics.

If you have liver cancer, your doctor will discuss what type or combination of treatment might work best for you, such as chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.

You may reach a point where liver damage can't be reversed and you develop liver failure. At that point you may need to get on a list for a liver transplant. Your doctor will continue to try to control your symptoms.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on January 27, 2014
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