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What are the Different Kinds of Hepatitis C Treatments?

Meshell Powell
Meshell Powell

Hepatitis C is caused by a viral infection and can potentially cause severe liver damage and liver failure. This type of hepatitis is transmitted primarily by coming into contact with the blood of an infected person. Symptoms may include fatigue, nausea, and muscle pain. Several hepatitis C treatments are available, depending on the severity of the disease. Some of these hepatitis C treatments may involve the use of prescription medications, lifestyle changes, or, in the most severe cases, a liver transplant may become necessary.

Alpha interferons have been used for several years as one of the more popular hepatitis C treatments. Alpha interferons are proteins that are naturally made by the human body. Scientists have been able to duplicate these proteins in order to help boost the immune system and fight several types of diseases. This type of treatment may either be used alone or in combination with other medications.

Nurse
Nurse

It should be noted that there are some potentially serious side effects from using medications such as alpha interferons as hepatitis C treatments. Symptoms such as fever, headaches, or muscle aches are commonly reported symptoms. These symptoms may lessen after the patient has received several injections of the medication, although some patients have continued to have problems. Depression and suicidal thoughts may also be more common in those taking these medications, so any new symptoms should be reported to a doctor right away.

Antiviral medications are typically prescribed as hepatitis C treatments. These medications are given in an attempt to clear the virus out of the body. A round of treatment usually takes several weeks and may need to be repeated. Flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, and dizziness may develop as side effects of these medications. These symptoms may become so severe that the patient has to discontinue the medication.

If other hepatitis C treatments have not been successful and the liver no longer functions well enough to support the life of the patient, a liver transplant may be the only remaining treatment option. In a liver transplant, the diseased liver is surgically removed and replaced with a donor liver. This new liver may come from an organ donor, or in some cases a portion of the liver can be obtained from a living liver donor who has been tested as a close match. Patients who have had a liver transplant will have to take lifelong medications in order to avoid rejection of the new organ by the body.

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