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What are the Different Kinds of Hepatitis C Therapy?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Hepatitis C is a liver disease that is caused by a virus and leads to inflammation of the liver. Common symptoms of hepatitis C include abdominal pain, nausea, and a yellowing of the skin and eyes, although many patients do not exhibit any symptoms. This disease can lead to liver failure or cancer of the liver, especially if left untreated. Hepatitis C therapy varies from patient to patient but may involve the use of prescription medications, lifestyle changes, or in the most severe cases a liver transplant may become necessary.

Alpha interferons are medications that are based on natural proteins made by the body. The use of this type of medication is a common hepatitis C therapy method. Alpha interferons are typically given in the form of an injection, either once per week or, in some cases, several times per week. This method of hepatitis C therapy may sometimes be used alone, although it is more typically used in conjunction with an antiviral medication known as Ribavirin.

Unfortunately, the use of alpha interferon injections as a form of hepatitis C therapy may produce negative side effects in some patients. Some of these side effects may include fever, headache, and muscle pain. More serious side effects such as depression or suicidal thoughts should be reported to a doctor right away.

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Ribavirin, an antiviral medication, is a typical form of hepatitis C therapy. This type of medication is not very successful on its own when treating hepatitis C, so it is usually used along with alpha interferon treatments. Ribavirin is available in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid and should be taken exactly as prescribed by a doctor. Some patients may experience side effects such as cough, hair loss, or digestive problems when taking this medication. Any troublesome symptoms should be discussed with a doctor.

Some lifestyle changes may be recommended for patients with hepatitis C. For instance, all alcohol usage should stop, and the patient will be encouraged not to smoke and adopt a healthy diet. In some cases, even if the patient follows all the recommended hepatitis C therapy options, liver damage will become so severe that a liver transplant becomes necessary. A liver transplant consists of the diseased liver being removed and replaced with a healthy liver from an organ donor. Sometimes, if a proper match is found, a portion of the liver can be transplanted from a living donor.

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