Hepatitis C Treatments

A new era in the treatment and cure of hepatitis C virus is here, changes in treatment are coming so fast.  Hepatitis C does not always require treatment. There are six genotypes of hepatitis C and they may respond differently to treatment. Careful screening is necessary before starting the treatment to determine the most appropriate approach for the patient.

Acute hepatitis C can be treated. Acute infection can clear on its own without treatment in about 25% of people. If acute hepatitis C is diagnosed, treatment does reduce the risk that acute hepatitis C will become a chronic infection. Acute hepatitis C is treated with the same medications used to treat chronic Hepatitis C. However, the optimal treatment and when it should be started remains uncertain.

Combination antiviral therapy (older treatments before the new ones were available prior to 2013) rwith interferon injection and oral ribavirin has been the mainstay of hepatitis C treatment. Unfortunately, interferon is not widely available globally, it is not always well tolerated, some virus genotypes respond better to interferon than others, and many people who take interferon do not finish their treatment. This means that while hepatitis C is generally considered to be a curable disease, for many people this is not a reality.
The goal of chronic hepatitis C treatment is SVR, or sustained virologic response. SVR means that the chronic hepatitis C virus can no longer be detected in your blood 6 months after the end of treatment.

Everyone is different, and there are different treatment regimens. The way you respond to a treatment regimen can be different from the way someone else does.
Speak with your healthcare provider about factors that can affect your response to treatment.

The current oral therapeutic agents for the treatment of hepatitis C are sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) and simeprevir (Olysio). These can be used in combination with ribavirin and interferon, but with simeprevir it is possible to eliminate the interferon. The effectiveness of treatment with these combinations of agents is extremely high (greater than 90%), and it now is possible to use treatment that is all oral. They also are expected to make treatment faster, easier and more effective than older regimens, which last at least six months and succeed about 75% of the time, experts say.

The problem is the cost of this medications. The combination of sofosbuvir, which costs $ 84,000 for 12 weeks, and simeprevir, which costs $ 66,000 for 12 weeks, according to manufacturers have drawn criticism from patient advocates who say high prices will limit access in the USA and worldwide.

The most recent approved treatment of hepatitis c in a 1 pill once a day plan is HARVONI.  This treatment is used with NO interferon, NO ribavirin. In clinical trials it was proven to cure 96-99% of adult patients with Geno Type 1 and no prior hep c treatment with just 12 weeks of treatment.  More advanced stage of the disease patients are usually required to treat longer in a suggested time of 24 weeks.  Consult with your doctor and discuss which options of treatment would be best for your personal condition, geno type and stage of the disease. 

With all treatments, there are side effects however, as a former patient that has undergone the earlier treatment of interferon and ribaviran personally, Also undergoing a trial for solvaldi and ribaviran.... The side effects are nothing in comparison to the old interferon treatment.

This medications we call protease inhibitors, learn how it works wacthing this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gk143LlYYmE


Vaccination

Vaccines are available only for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. Research into the development of a vaccine is under way.

Here has a good video from Liver Specialist of Texas - Hepatitis C Education Program Side Effect Management for Patients, Family and Health Care providers. Please take a look, it can help you to learn more about the side effects from the drugs that the  patients needs to take when they are doing the hep c  treatment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvbJvf3FIoM 

Six Genotypes

There are six genotypes of hepatitis C and they may respond differently to treatment. Not all types of hepatitis C always require treatment. Careful screening is necessary before starting any treatment to determine the most appropriate approach for the patient.

 
Acute Infections

Acute infection can clear on its own without treatment in about 25% of people, but treatment does reduce the risk that acute hepatitis C will become a chronic infection. Acute hepatitis C is treated with the same medications used to treat chronic Hepatitis C. However, the optimal treatment and when it should be started remains uncertain.

Combination antiviral therapy with interferon injection and oral ribavirin has been the mainstay of hepatitis C treatment. Unfortunately, interferon is not widely available globally, it is not always well tolerated, some virus genotypes respond better to interferon than others, and many people who take interferon do not finish their treatment. This means that while hepatitis C is generally considered to be a curable disease, for many people this is not a reality.

 
Sustained Virologic Response

The goal of chronic hepatitis C treatment is SVR, or sustained virologic response. SVR means that the chronic hepatitis C virus can no longer be detected in your blood 6 months after the end of treatment.

  

 

Understanding your liver

It sits on the right-hand side of your abdomen, just below your diaphragm, behind your ribs. It’s the largest internal organ in your body, about the size of a rugby ball, weighing in at around 1.25-1.5 kilograms or  about 3 pounds  . And it’s responsible for performing many functions that are critical to your well being, such as:

Manufacturing blood proteins that aid in clotting, oxygen transport, and immune system function

Storing excess nutrients and returning some of the nutrients to the bloodstream. It receives 30% of the blood circulating in your system every minute – performing chemical reactions to remove harmful toxins and distribute and store essential nutrients.

Manufacturing bile, a substance needed to help digest food. Every time you feed, your liver feeds you. Once food is digested, nutrients enter the blood, which are taken straight to your liver for processing. Depending on how low or plentiful these nutrients are in your body, the liver cells will either release the goodness to when it’s needed or store it for when your body needs a boost.

Helping the body store sugar (glucose) in the form of glycogen

Ridding the body of harmful substances in the bloodstream, including drugs and alcohol

Breaking down saturated fat and producing cholesterol

The liver is the only organ in your body that has the ability to regenerate itself by creating new tissue. That means it can still function, even if a significant part of the organ is diseased or removed.

 

Contact us for more information on hepatitis C treatments.


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