Treatments for Hepatitis C

Following a diagnosis of chronic hepatitis C, you should see a healthcare professional as soon as possible. In fact, depending on the stage of progression of the illness and the genotype of the virus, various different treatments will be considered.

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There are three different types of treatment to fight chronic hepatitis C:

- Antiviral treatment
This attempts to eliminate the hepatitis C virus or to radiate fibrosis that has developed. This treatment is a combination of two medications: pegylated interferon and ribavirin. When it comes to affording these medications, the level of coverage you may have can vary depending on your insurance plan. If your insurance provider doesn’t cover the antiviral therapy your doctor recommends, you may have other options for financial assistance This antiviral treatment is therefore a dual therapy regimen that is followed for between six months and one year. PEG interferon is administered in the form of once weekly injections, while ribavirin is given in the form of capsules taken daily. The dosages of these two medications vary depending on the weight of the patient.

- Treatment for the symptoms of hepatitis C
This treatment helps to alleviate muscular pain, digestion problems and other symptoms connected with the illness.

- Treatment to prevent complications
This type of treatment delays the onset of complications of hepatitis C, such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.

CURING HEPATITIS C

The rate of recovery largely depends on the genotype of hepatitis C developed. Thanks to dual therapy, 50% of patients are cured of the condition. In fact, the rate of recovery is 80% for patients affected with genotype 2 or 3 hepatitis C. In the case of hepatitis C of genotypes 1, 4 and 5, this rate is 50%.
Treatment is prescribed by a hospital doctor and the monthly injections of interferon are administered by a nurse at the start of treatment and subsequently by the patient himself/herself. The injections and ribavirin can cause side effects, particularly during the first month of treatment.

In 2013, a significant step forward was made in the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C. This step forward consists of triple therapy, which is indicated for patients who have not received treatment before or for whom previous treatment has failed. This treatment presents a major potential for stamping out the disease for good. Ultimately, the cure rate achieved by triple therapy reached 70% for patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C, which represents 60% of cases of hepatitis in adults.