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In most cases, hepatitis B goes away on its own. You can relieve your symptoms at home by resting, eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding alcohol and drugs. Also, find out from your doctor what medicines and herbal products to avoid, because some can make liver damage caused by hepatitis B worse.

Treatment for chronic hepatitis B depends on whether your infection is getting worse and whether you have liver damage. Most people with chronic hepatitis B can live active, full lives by taking good care of themselves and getting regular checkups. There are medicines for chronic hepatitis B, but they may not be right for everyone. Work with your doctor to decide if medicine is right for you.

Sometimes, chronic hepatitis B can lead to severe liver damage. If this happens, you may need a liver transplant.

The hepatitis B vaccine is the best way to prevent infection. The vaccine is a series of 3 or 4 shots. Adults at risk and all babies, children, and teenagers should be vaccinated.

A combination vaccine (Twinrix) that protects against both hepatitis B and hepatitis A also is available.

To avoid getting or spreading the virus to others:

  • Use a condom when you have sex.
  • Don't share needles.
  • Wear latex or plastic gloves if you have to touch blood.
  • Don't share toothbrushes or razors.
  • Don't get a tattoo, or make sure that the needles used have been cleaned properly and are sterile.

Learning about hepatitis B:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Living with hepatitis B:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 29, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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