Until 2015, hepatitis C was treatable but there was no cure. The virus can cause serious health complications over time including cirrhosis and liver cancer. Your symptoms may not show up for a long time after you’ve been infected; they include exhaustion, muscle and joint pain, itchy skin and dark urine. Since 2015, however, there have been advancements in treatments and researchers are hoping to ultimately find a cure that eradicates the virus within 12 weeks of treatment. These treatments have passed clinical trials and are being prescribed to people who are infected with hepatitis C in an attempt to cure it.
Made up of sofosbuvi and ledipasvir, Harvoni is a once-daily medication. It has high cure rates but is also very expensive so can be out of the reach of a lot of patients.
The drug can be used to treat chronic hep C patients and also those who are also infected with HIV. The treatment can last from 8 to 24 weeks and side effects are much milder than other treatments. They can include diarrhea, fatigue, insomnia, and nausea.
If you have Hep C with genotype 3, Daklinza could be a good treatment for you. It blocks the virus at certain points of its life cycle. Combined with Sovaldi, it is taken once-daily for 3 months. Side effects tend only to include headache and fatigue.
If you have suffered from cirrhosis you may need to also take Ribavirin twice daily with food. You may also have to be on this treatment regime for longer than 3 months.
Taken along with other drugs twice a day, Ribavirin can be taken by children and adults. Dosage is determined in regards to your weight.
This drug can increase your risk of heart problems and attack. It cannot be taken if you have heart disease or sickle cell disease. The drug can actually cause anemia and therefore patients taking this have to be regularly screened for the condition. Blood tests should be taken before treatment is started to determine if you already have anemia. If you do, it is still possible to take Ribavirin but you will have to reduce your dosage.
Side effects can include headache, nausea, anxiety, night sweats, fatigue, bowel irritability, fever, and more. If the drug can cure you of hep C, you should talk to your doctor about whether dealing with possible side effects is worth it.
Featured Image: DepositPhotos/ ayo888