Chronic Hepatitis C: The Basics
How Is it Treated?
Treatment is different for every person. You may not need or get help from medications. Some people can’t handle their side effects.
The FDA has approved:
- Daclatasvir (Daklinza)
- Elbasvir-grazoprevir (Zepatier)
Interferon alfa-2b (Intron A)
- Ledipasvir-sofosbuvir (Harvoni)
- Ombitasvir, paritaprevir, dasabuvir, ritonavir (Viekira Pak)
- Ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir (Technivie)
- Peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys, Pegasys Proclick)
- Peginterferon alfa-2b (PEGIntron, Peg Intron RP, Sylatron)
Ribavirin (Copegus, Moderiba ,Rebetol, RibaPak, RibaTab, Ribasphere Ribasphere Ribapak, Virazole)
- Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi)
Hepatitis C treatments are changing quickly. Until recently, the most common method was a blend of shots and pills. It most often combined a shot of interferon or peginterferon with the pills ribavirin and one of several other drugs. This caused some unpleasant side effects.
Your treatment will depend on many things including what type of hepatitis C virus you have. In the U.S., the most common type is genotype 1, followed by genotypes 2 and 3. Genotypes 4, 5 and 6 are very rare in the U.S.
In November 2014, the FDA approved the combination of simeprevir (Olysio) and sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) to be used without ribavirin or interferon. The newest drugs such as daclatasvir (Daklinza), elbasvir-grazoprevir (Zepatier), ombitasvir, paritaprevir-dasabuvir-ritonavir (Viekira Pak), ombitasvir, paritaprevir –ritonavir (Technivie), and sofosbuvir-ledipasvir (Harvoni) do not require interferon, and cure more people in less time. These drugs are quite expensive, so check with your insurance company or ask your doctor about any drug company assistance programs.
What’s Your Outlook?
In the best case, the hepatitis C virus won't show up in a blood test 6 months after treatment ends. Although the virus isn't gone, it stops growing. After treatment, make sure you stick with healthy habits and see your doctor regularly.
The outlook for most people with chronic hepatitis C is good. People who get cirrhosis and liver disease may need a liver transplant.