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Hepatitis C Treatment

What is the treatment for hepatitis C?

Treatment for hepatitis C differs depending on whether it is an acute (new) or chronic (long-term) infection.

  • Acute hepatitis C treatment

    • There are no medications available to treat new or acute Hepatitis C infections. Usually, doctors will recommend rest, adequate nutrition and fluid intake. Acute hepatitis C infections sometimes will go away on their own.
  • Chronic hepatitis C treatment

    • People with chronic or long-term hepatitis C infections need regular monitoring by doctors for signs of liver damage or disease, and evaluated for treatment. The treatment may involve the use of antiviral medications to manage the virus and enhance liver function. Not everyone that test positive for chronic hepatitis C needs or will receive full benefits from medical treatments.
    • Note that other major health issues can be confused with hepatitis C . This makes it important to confirm the presence of chronic hepatitis C by doing a follow-up test. The test will confirm that you have had hepatitis C antibodies in your blood for longer than 6 months.

Take Charge of Your Health

Hepatitis C is a liver infection that is symptomless 80% of the time. When it does present symptoms, they can mimic the flu. About 3.2 million people in the US have Hepatitis C and 3 out of 4 who are infected don’t even know they have it.

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Hepatitis C antiviral medications

Antiviral medications are used to treat and manage chronic (long term) Hepatitis C infections. The medications are used over time and in a routine recommended by a physician. With proper medications, an infected person can keep their disease under control. The medications can have serious side effects and may need to be suspended or stopped in certain situations.

Liver transplants can help hepatitis C patients

Individuals living with chronic hepatitis C that has resulted in serious liver disease or those who are on the verge of liver failure may be candidates for liver transplants; having their damaged liver replaced surgically with a transplanted liver.

Is there a way to recover from hepatitis C?

In approximately 15-25 percent of acute hepatitis C cases, individuals with the virus are able to clear it on their own without treatment. These infections, once cleared, will not become chronic hepatitis C later.

I have hepatitis C; what can I do to help take care of my liver?

Learning you have hepatitis C can be devastating news, but there are steps you can take to help take care of your liver’s health.

  • Get regular liver health check-ups from experienced medical professionals
  • Avoid drinking alcohol as it can cause additional liver damage
  • Check with your doctor before taking medications, prescriptions or supplements as some, like acetaminophen, can harm the liver
  • If your liver is damaged, get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B to avoid contracting these infections as well
  1. "Hepatitis C." World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-c
  2. "Hepatitis C Questions and Answers for the Public | CDC." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/cfaq.htm
  3. "Medical Treatment for Hepatitis A, B & C." Patient Care at NYU Langone Health. https://nyulangone.org/conditions/hepatitis-a-b-c/treatments/medical-treatment-for-hepatitis-a-b-c
  4. "Hepatitis C Treatment. Treatment for Hepatitis C Info - ALF." American Liver Foundation. https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/diseases-of-the-liver/hepatitis-c/treating-hepatitis-c/

Medically Reviewed by on Jun 18, 2019

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