Dietary and herbal supplements can't cure hepatitis C, but many people take them to try to ease their symptoms or get relief from the side effects of treatment. Do they work? For most of these products, scientists don’t have a firm answer.
But even though powerful new drugs can cure hep C, there still may be a role for supplements, says Arti Prasad, MD, executive director of the University of New Mexico Center for Life.
"People will still be looking for other things because it's very hard treatment,"...
Hepatitis C treatments have changed a lot in recent years. One of the newer drugs is a once-daily pill called Harvoni that cures the disease in most people in 8-12 weeks. It combines two drugs: sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) and ledipasvir. In clinical trials, the most common side effects were fatigue and headache. The most recent drugs are ombitasvir-paritaprevir-dasabuvir-ritonavir (Viekira Pak), ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir (Technivie) and daclastasvir (Daklinza) which do not require interferon and cure more people in less time. Ombitasvir-paritaprevir-dasabuvir-ritonavir and ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir carry an FDA warning of severe liver injury if given to someone with underlying severe liver disease. All of these medicines are quite expensive.