Managing Hepatitis C with Interferon Therapy

1037 Words5 Pages
Hepatitis is a liver disease caused by a virus, resulting in inflammation and possible liver damage. Of the many types of viruses causing hepatitis, the hepatitic C virus (HCV) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease, which leads to liver failure and end-stage disease. Hepatitis C is the most common reason for liver transplantation in the US. Why Early Treatment of Hepatitis C is Necessary Hepatitis C is known to be passed through direct contact with infected blood. This may come from blood transfusions, organ transplants, tattooing and body piercing, but the most common route is through needles shared from illegal drug abuse. Most people who are infected do not know they have the disease until they develop liver damage that results in chronic liver disease around two decades after they have been infected. Acute symptoms, if any, manifest as flu-like symptoms, which may include fatigue, poor appetite, fever, nausea, muscle pains, joint pains, and yellowing of the eyes and skin. For most infected people, symptoms appear only when liver damage has occurred and is discovered through a blood test. Early treatment of hepatitic C is necessary to avoid complications from chronic hepatitis C. About a quarter of patients eventually develop serious liver disease such as cirrhosis and liver cancer after several years, for which there is no cure. Only a liver transplant could possibly prolong life if successful. However, according the the American Liver Foundation, with early treatment, sustained viral suppression may be achieved in up to 40% of patients and cure or eradication of infection obtained for a few patients. Standard Treatment of Hepatitis C A person who tests positive for Hepatitic C but does not have physical or labo... ... middle of paper ... ... experience a relapse after treatment. Therapy may be repeated to reduce liver inflammation, slow down the progression of liver damage and reduce the risk of cirrhosis or liver cancer. Works Cited Mayo Clinic. Hepatitis C. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hepatitis-c/basics/treatment/con-20030618 WebMD. Hepatitis C. http://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/hepc-guide/hepatitis-c-topic-overview Davis, G. Hepatitis C Interferon Treatment. http://www.interferon.ws/interferon-treatment.htm USDVA. Interferon and Ribavirin Treatment Side Effects. http://www.hepatitis.va.gov/provider/reviews/treatment-side-effects.asp Hepatitis Central. Understanding Hepatitis C Interferon Therapy. http://www.hepatitiscentral.com/mt/archives/2006/07/understanding_h.html CPMC. Hepatitis C: Treatment. http://www.cpmc.org/advanced/liver/patients/topics/hepc-treatment.html#treatment1

More about Managing Hepatitis C with Interferon Therapy

Open Document