Hepatitis C Treatment Options

Once a person has had the diagnosis confirmed that they are infected with Hepatitis C there are treatment options that must be considered. At one time it was believed that if the infection was still in its acute stage, meaning the person had been infected for less then six months, no treatment should be used. Physicians hoped that if left alone it would go away. So they did nothing. Research has changed this analysis.  Now they work vigorously through all stages of Hepatitis C to do the best they can to treat the infection. But the kind of treatment they offer depends a lot on what age the patient is more than just the stage of infection that they are in.

A child will be given a treatment of interferon with no accompanying medication. If they are still in the acute stage the success rate is seventy percent.  Though researchers are still trying to understand why this treatment works so well in children parents are grateful for the high success rate. There is more confusion in treating children than in adults.  Studies are continuing to better understand why a higher portion of children can clear the infection out of there systems without treatment than adults can.

Seniors are another treatment issue. When someone over sixty becomes infected physicians do not suggest using any treatment.  This is because the progress of Hepatitis C to serious liver damage, cirrhosis of the liver, can take anywhere from twenty to forty years. Therefore it is felt that a person of that age will more likely die of natural causes in their old age than anything connected with the Hepatitis C virus.  There will be some common sense lifestyle changes but beyond that more regular check-ups are about all that needs to be done.

Anyone who does not fall into those age restrictions has more treatment options. Interferon is the medication used most often to treat the Hepatitis C virus.  Use of this medication alone has a cure rate of twenty five percent. That means the infection comes under control.  Unfortunately sometimes patients have a relapse and if so this calls for a drug therapy that combines interferon with ribavirin.  This double hitting drug therapy has some good results with forty five percent of patients using this combination showing diminished levels of the virus. Neither of these should be used if a woman is pregnant as it can cause defects or death of the fetus. Don't let the side effects prevent you from taking the treatment.

Anyone who is being treated for Hepatitis C should do a few things to help their health.  One of the most important is to stop drinking. Alcohol will only speed along the damage to a person's liver. Do not use any new over the counter medications or try any natural or herbal remedies without first talking to your health care provider. Ask about getting vaccinated for both Hepatitis A nd B, especially if there are already some signs of liver damage.

Hepatitis news on the Web

Hepatitis can cause permanent liver damage and even kill. Some forms of Hepatitis stay with you for life. Hepatitis A and B can be passed on sexually, and gay men are particularly at risk. But there are safe and effective vaccines that can protect from infection.

Saint Peter's University Hospital will hold its next Hepatitis Support Group on Oct. 15. The group meets on the third Wednesday of each month, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Hepatitis A is a viral disease that affects the liver.

( University of Southern California ) Study in journal Nature reveals atomic structure of enzyme capable of repelling HIV virus, suggesting new approach for drug development.

NIAGARA FALLS -- The Niagara County Health Department has announced it is offering longer hours for its free sexually transmitted disease clinic. It will be open from 10 a. m. to 3:30 p. m. every Monday and Wednesday in the Trott Access Center, 1001 11th St., except on holidays when county offices are closed.

RIGA - Hepatitis A has swept across Latvia, killing five people and infecting thousands more, according to the Latvian Infectious Diseases Center. It is the first epidemic in Latvia in 20 years. The disease, which can be fatal, has spread through contaminated food and water.

Humans have a built-in weapon against HIV, but until recently no one knew how to unlock its potential.

Robert Neil Spence is a name you probably haven't heard and Cardinal Health officials would rather not discuss.

Food safety is in the news and on the minds of many people.  Numerous foodborne illnesses have occurred in Nebraska during the last year - including E.coli, Salmonella, and Hepatitis A.  Most of the reported foodborne illness outbreaks have occurred from food eaten away from the home.  ServSafe ® Employee Food Safety Training (EFST) Program is a program developed by the National Restaurant ...

A doctor's failure to check up on a basic blood test led to a community care worker contracting hepatitis B and needing a liver transplant, a court has been told.