Best treatment options for acute and chronic hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is not considered to be a fatal condition in its acute form. It is considered to be fatal when it has advanced to the chronic level. Chronic or long-lasting hepatitis can damage the liver and that is why doctors are worried about chronic hepatitis C. It can lead to scarring of the liver which is known as cirrhosis in medical parlance.
Acute hepatitis does not always advance to the chronic level. In fact, some people acquire and get rid of hepatitis C without ever being aware of it. Studies have shown that about 95% of infected people get rid of the infection within 6 months. However, everybody is not lucky enough. Acute hepatitis C does advance to chronic hepatitis C in some people and that is the cause for worry. To avoid the chronic form you need to get the best hep C treatments for acute hepatitis so that your liver gets rid of the virus at the initial stage. But before that, you need to know how the hep C virus gets into your body.
Risk factors for acquiring hepatitis C
Most people get it when blood from an infected person enters their body in some way or the other. The most vulnerable are those who happen to share needles for drug abuse or get stuck by a needle by virtue of working in hospital or doctor’s office. Hereditary factors may be responsible too, but to an extent of around 6% only. Many people also get it due to having sex with an infected person. If you have sexually transmitted disease, several partners for sex, or take part in rough sex causing bleeding, then you are more at risk.
Acute hepatitis C – Treatment options
It is generally acknowledged that to treat acute hepatitis C you need to act within the first 6 months of acquiring the infection. However, the virus is not always detectable within this period. In the absence of any definitive indication, the doctor may start symptomatic treatments for Hep C. Hepatitis C treatment options may include treatment for nausea, vomiting, fatigue, general malaise, and symptoms of the flu.
In fact, about 95% of adults clear this infection within the first 6 months. However, the patient must be monitored for clearance of the infection. Patients with acute hepatitis C must have HCV RNA monitoring at least every 6 weeks, but up to a minimum period of 16 weeks of acquiring the infection. If doctors decide to delay treatment due to any reason, then the patient must be monitored for spontaneous clearance for up to 12 months after acquiring the infection for getting to know the best hepatitis C treatment options.
Positive HCV RNA test and elevated ALT
Whatever be the case, if the infection clears up spontaneously, then the person does not at all need any treatment for acute hepatitis C. This is what happens mostly in adults. On the contrary, with children especially those below 4 years of age, who are at the receiving end of this viral’s onslaught, it has been observed that about 90% of them cannot clear the infection and become afflicted with chronic hepatitis C. This can be ascertained with a positive HCV RNA test and elevated ALT. To avoid this, active vaccination may well be the best hep c medication and preventive cure for children.
Chronic hepatitis C treatment options
It is only when the virus gets a firm nesting place in the liver and starts damaging the liver that chronic hepatitis C is suspected. Serologic tests confirm the presence of the bacteria. It is now time to fight it. Treatment should begin in right earnest so that the virus can be stopped from replicating and damaging the liver further. There is continuous research on hep c treatments and there are several approaches to treating chronic hepatitis C. As of now the best treatment option for chronic hepatitis C seems to be a combination medicine of sofosbuvir 400 mg/velpatasvir 100 mg, a.k.a. EPCLUSA. This is the first therapy for treating all the 6 HCV genotypes—1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. It is also the first regimen for treatment of patients infected with hepatitis C genotype 2 and 3 that does not use ribavirin as a combination.
The drug comes in a single tab and needs to be taken once daily. If cirrhosis is at an advanced stage, this medicine is usually prescribed in combination with ribavirin. Ribavirin is an antiviral medicine that is used to treat viral infections like hepatitis C in combination with other potent antiviral or antibiotic medicine. There are many other medicines that can be taken with ribavirin to get rid of hepatitis C virus in the chronic stage.
A strong immune system may be the best weapon to fight the scourge of hepatitis C. Therefore, regular intake of vitamin C and other nutrients that enhance the immune system may well be the best defense against the virus.