Hepatitis B (cont.)
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.
In this Article
- What is hepatitis?
- How is the hepatitis B virus spread (transmitted)?
- What are the symptoms of acute hepatitis B infection?
- What are the symptoms of chronic hepatitis B infection?
- How is hepatitis B diagnosed?
- What is the role of a liver biopsy in chronic hepatitis B?
- What is the natural course of chronic hepatitis B?
- What medications are used to treat hepatitis B?
- What are the effects of alcohol on hepatitis B?
- What are the effects of immunosuppressive medications on hepatitis B?
- What is delta hepatitis?
- What about co-infection with hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus?
- What happens in co-infection with hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus?
- What is the role of liver transplantation in hepatitis B?
- What can be done to prevent hepatitis B?
- What is new in the treatment of hepatitis B?
- Hepatitis B At A Glance
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
What are the effects of alcohol on hepatitis B virus?
Agents that damage the liver are particularly harmful in patients who already have hepatitis B. For this reason, it is recommended that persons with hepatitis B avoid drinking alcohol.
What are the effects of immunosuppressive medications on hepatitis B virus?
Even in people with chronic hepatitis B, the immune system is working to suppress the virus. Medications that suppress the immune system allow the virus to reproduce in large numbers and may cause the hepatitis to flare.
Examples of medications that suppress the immune system are:
- prednisone: used to treat many diseases, including
asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and certain types of skin disease and
(Rheumatrex, Trexall): used to treat certain types of skin disease, arthritis, and
- cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan): used to treat some cancers.
If an immunosuppressant drug is stopped, the body's immune system's activity may rebound and cause severe inflammation of the liver.
Next: What is delta hepatitis?
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