For more information on treating the symptoms of acute
HBV infection, see the Home Treatment section of this topic.
may be given medicine to treat an acute hepatitis B infection if:
- Tests continue to detect a certain
antigen (HBeAg) after 12 weeks.
- Your liver
enzyme levels are higher than normal, meaning that you may have some liver
- The amount of hepatitis B virus DNA is high, which means
there is a lot of virus in the body (high viral load).
But using medicine to treat hepatitis B is not usually done unless a person is very sick.
Treatment of long-term (chronic) hepatitis B infection
If you have chronic HBV infection, treatment depends on how active the
virus is in your body and the potential for liver damage. The goal of treatment
is to stop liver damage by preventing the virus from multiplying.
Antiviral medicine is used if the virus is active and you are at risk
for liver damage. Medicine slows the ability of the virus to multiply.
Antiviral medicine for hepatitis B includes:
Antiviral therapy is not recommended for everyone who
has a chronic hepatitis B viral infection. Your doctor may recommend antivirals
if you have or are likely to develop liver damage, such as
cirrhosis. For more information, see:
- Hepatitis B: Should I Take Antiviral Medicine for Chronic Hepatitis B?
Whether or not you are taking medicine, you will need
to visit your doctor regularly. He or she will do blood
tests to monitor your liver function and the activity of the hepatitis B virus
(HBV) in your body. Some of the tests can find out whether HBV is actively
multiplying in your liver, which increases your risk of liver damage, such as
liver cancer. If you develop advanced liver damage
because of hepatitis and your condition becomes life-threatening, you may need
a liver transplant. But not everyone is a good candidate
for a liver transplant.