Because hepatitis C doesn't always cause symptoms, you may not know you have the virus. Your doctor won't check for hepatitis C unless you 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 hepatitis C, you can get a blood test.
The treatments have changed a lot in recent years. The latest is a once-daily pill called Harvoni that cures the disease in most people in 8-12 weeks. It combines two drugs: Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and ledipasvir. In clinical trials, the most common side effects were fatigue and headache.
Other options your doctor may recommend include taking a combination of Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), Olysio (simeprevir), Incivek (telaprevir), Victrelis (boceprevir), and Viekira Pak (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, dasabuvir, ritonavir). There are also interferon (which you take by injection), and/or ribavirin (which comes as a liquid, tablet, or capsule).
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)."