Treatment for Hepatitis C
Patients who have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C have a variety of treatment options available to them. For people diagnosed with Acute Hepatitis C the body is able to overcome the virus and does not require an active treatment. About 25% of Hepatitis C cases fall into the classification of Hepatitis and do not require treatment. Many people who are suffering from the acute version of the virus do not have any symptoms many times going undiagnosed. Even though symptoms are nonexistent, a majority of people with Acute Hepatitis C will develop chronic Hepatitis C and will require some type of treatment.
The path of treatment depends on several factors including the strain of the virus, previous treatments, damage to the liver, a patients other health conditions, and the place of a patient if they are on a liver transplant list. According to the World Health Organization around 90% of people diagnosed with Hepatitis C can be cured by always improving antiviral medications. Strides have been made in the development of several new antiviral medications that have significantly less negative side effects and work quicker than their previous predecessors. This improvement has allowed more people to complete all the necessary steps to entirely rid themselves of the disease. The overall goal of the antiviral drugs is to weaken the virus and allow the body to rid itself of virus. It is common practice for patients to take two or three antiviral drugs in a combination to completely weaken the virus enough to cure a patient.
Another type of treatment for some Hepatitis C patients is interferon treatment. Interferon is a protein that is naturally found in the body, but some pharmaceutical companies have been able to create an injectable version of the protein. One drawback to this type of treatment is that many people are not able to take interferon because of liver disease, autoimmune disease, intolerances, depression, blood abnormalities, and heart conditions. For those who are able to receive weekly interferon injections, many do not complete the entire treatment plan because of the negative side effects that accompany the interferon injections. These patients have to be closely monitored by medical professionals in order to monitor and treat side effects of the drug.
The new advances in antiviral drugs have significantly decreased the treatment time. Previous treatments took up to 48 weeks for completion, whereas the newly developed medications can treat the virus in in half the time or less.