What's the Treatment for Hepatitis C? continued...
Other options your doctor may recommend include taking a combination of Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), Olysio (simeprevir), Incivek (telaprevir), Victrelis (boceprevir), or Viekira Pak (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, dasabuvir, ritonavir). There are also interferon (which you take by injection), and/or ribavirin (which comes as a liquid, tablet, or capsule).
Interferon or ribavirin used to be the main treatment for hepatitis C. They can have side effects including fatigue, flu-like symptoms, anemia, skin rash, mild anxiety, depression, nausea, and diarrhea.
You can talk with your doctor about what's right for you, based on your medical needs and insurance coverage, since the newer hepatitis C drugs are very expensive.
Side Effects of Hepatitis C Treatment
Side effects include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Hair loss
- Low blood counts
- Trouble thinking
Also, the FDA has said it has received reports of a serious skin rash from combination treatment with Incivek, which has led to several deaths.
Can You Prevent Hepatitis C Infection?
There is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C. To avoiding getting the virus:
- Use a latex condom every time you have sex.
- Don't share personal items like razors.
- Be careful if you get a tattoo or body piercing. The equipment may have someone else's blood on it.
- To avoid spreading the virus, don't donate blood or tissue if you are infected.