July 27, 2016
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Hepatitis C (cont.)

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What is the treatment for people with acute hepatitis C infection?

When people first get hepatitis C, the infection is said to be acute. Most people with acute hepatitis C do not have symptoms so they are not recognized as being infected. However, some have low-grade fever, fatigue or other symptoms that lead to an early diagnosis. Others who become infected and have a known exposure to an infected source, such as a needle-stick injury, are monitored closely.

Treatment decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis. Response to treatment is higher in acute hepatitis infection than chronic infection. However, many experts prefer to hold off treatment for 8-12 weeks to see whether the patient naturally eliminates the virus without treatment. Approaches to treatment is evolving. Patients with acute hepatitis C infection should discuss treatment options with a health-care professional who is experienced in treating the disease. There is no established treatment regimen at this time.

How effective is hepatitis C treatment?

If the hepatitis C RNA remains undetectable at the end of the treatment and follow-up period, this is called a sustained virologic response (SVR) and is considered a cure. Over 90% of people treated with DAAs are cured. These people have significantly reduced liver inflammation, and liver scarring may even be reversed.

Who should not receive treatment with antiviral therapy?

Few people with hepatitis C are at risk for problems if they are treated, however there are some factors that affect treatment regimens, such as concurrent HIV medications and kidney dysfunction. Some drugs are not safe for people with cirrhosis. Individuals who are unable to comply with the treatment schedule for psychological reasons or ongoing drug or alcohol abuse may not be good candidates for treatment because the drugs are very costly and require adherence to the pill regimen and regular follow-up visits. There are some important drug interactions with some of the medications that should be considered by the health-care professional.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/12/2016

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/hepatitis_c/article.htm

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