Because hepatitis C doesn't always cause symptoms, you may not know you have the virus. Your doctor won't likely check for hepatitis C unless you have abnormal liver tests, think you've had contact with a person who is infected, or if you were born between 1945 and 1965. If you think you may have the disease, you can get a blood test.
If you have hepatitis C, your doctor may also do a liver biopsy. He’ll insert a needle into the organ and remove a piece of tissue. It will go to a lab for tests.
What Are the Treatments?
One of the most common treatments 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.
Other options your doctor may recommend include a combination of ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir plus dasabuvir, or simeprevir plus sofosbuvir.
News release, FDA.
American Academy of Family Physicians.
WebMD Medical Reference: "Hepatitis C," "Hepatitis B," "Combination antiviral therapy for hepatitis C." Manual of Family Practice.
Paul Gaglio, MD, medical director of liver transplantation, division of hepatology, Montefiore Medical Center.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: "Hepatitis C Treatment Side Effects Management Chart."
UptoDate: "Patient Information: "Hepatitis C (Beyond the Basics)."