Hep­ati­tis B Treat­ment

Wellness Update - - EXPLORE -

Acute hep­ati­tis B: it is not usu­ally nec­es­sary to treat a new hep­ati­tis B in­fec­tion in the first six months. Nine out of ten new in­fec­tions go away on their own, with or with­out treat­ment. In this early stage of disease, treat­ment makes very lit­tle dif­fer­ence to the chances of a cure. An­tivi­ral drugs may only be nec­es­sary and help­ful in rare cases, if the acute in­fec­tion causes very ag­gres­sive liver in­flam­ma­tion. Chronic (long-last­ing) hep­ati­tis B: consult with your doc­tor about your sit­u­a­tion. Some peo­ple need treat­ment, while oth­ers should wait. Treat­ment does not usu­ally cure you of hep­ati­tis B, but it can turn an ‘ag­gres­sive’ hep­ati­tis B in­fec­tion into a mild in­fec­tion. This can stop the liver from be­ing dam­aged. If the in­fec­tion is con­sid­ered mild, it might be bet­ter to mon­i­tor it and wait un­til later for treat­ment. You can treat chronic hep­ati­tis B with peg-in­ter­feron or with pills, which are called nu­cle­o­side or nu­cleo­tide ana­logues. Peg-in­ter­feron alfa comes in a sy­ringe and stim­u­lates the im­mune sys­tem against the virus. This treat­ment may have side ef­fects, such as fa­tigue, flu-like symp­toms, de­pres­sion, skin and hair prob­lems and changes in blood chem­istry, amongst oth­ers. Treat­ment con­tin­ues for 24 to 48 weeks and while not all hep­ati­tis B pa­tients re­spond well to in­ter­feron, cer­tain types of hep­ati­tis B in­fec­tion do. For ex­am­ple, pa­tients with geno­type A, HBeAg pos­i­tive, with el­e­vated liver en­zymes but NO cir­rho­sis can of­ten suc­cess­fully re­duce their vi­ral in­fec­tion to a milder state. Your doc­tor needs to mon­i­tor your in­ter­feron treat­ment closely. In­ter­feron treat­ment should not be used if you al­ready have cir­rho­sis of the liver. Nu­cle­o­side and nu­cleo­tide ana­logues come in pills. They stop the virus from repli­cat­ing. The pills have very few side ef­fects, and even pa­tients with cir­rho­sis can take them. How­ever, pa­tients need to take their pills ev­ery day, for sev­eral years and some­times a life­time. If the virus be­comes re­sis­tant to one type of pill, it might stop work­ing, and another, dif­fer­ent drug will need to be added to their treat­ment to get the virus back un­der con­trol. Your doc­tor should mon­i­tor your vi­ral load (HBV DNA) to make sure that your treat­ment works. Do not for­get to take your pills, even if you feel well. If you miss many doses or stop treat­ment too early, the disease might be­come worse than it was be­fore. Make sure that you will have ac­cess to med­i­ca­tion for sev­eral years be­fore you start treat­ment with pills.

Hep­ati­tis C Treat­ment

In many coun­tries, the sec­ond quar­ter of 2011 marked the ar­rival of a new cur­rent stan­dard of care for peo­ple with HCV geno­type 1; Bo­cepre­vir (Vic­trelis) and Te­lapre­vir (In­civek), which are pro­tease in­hibitors taken orally and added to the Pe­gy­lated in­ter­feron alfa and rib­avirin com­bi­na­tion

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