What Is Hepatitis C?
How Is It Treated? continued...
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.
Instead, your doctor could recommend a combination of boceprevir (Victrelis), simeprevir (Olysio), sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), or ), or telaprevir (Incivek) with interferon (which you take by injection), and ribavirin (which comes as a liquid, tablet, or capsule).
Interferon and ribavirin used to be the main treatments for hepatitis C. They can have side effects like fatigue, flu-like symptoms, anemia, skin rash, mild anxiety, depression,nausea, and diarrhea.
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. Your doctor will help you figure out what's right for you, based on your medical needs and insurance coverage.
What Are the Side Effects?
The most common effects of hep C drugs are:
Can You Prevent Hepatitis C Infection?
There’s 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, body piercing or manicure. The equipment may have someone else's blood on it.
- Don't donate blood or tissue if you’re infected.