What to Know About Hepatitis C Treatment
Most people with untreated hepatitis C virus (HCV) carry the virus for the rest of their lives. But treatment helps most people get over HCV infection. Ask your healthcare provider about your options and how likely it is that treatment will work for you.
Things to consider
Deciding whether or not to get treatment for HCV infection is easier than in the past. This is because a cure is now possible for most people. Here are some things to think about:
How healthy are you? For most people in good health, treatment is curative and worthwhile.
Are the benefits worth the risks? Treatment generally carries little risk but should still be discussed with your healthcare provider.
Is now the right time? Think about how treatment will fit into your daily routine. During treatment, you may be too tired to keep up an active lifestyle. Talk with family members and close friends about how treatment would fit into your life and schedule. It's extemely important to take your medicines exactly as directed, without missing any doses, so be sure to understand all instructions before starting.
Do you plan to have a baby soon? HCV sometimes passes from mother to baby during birth. You may want to try to prevent this by getting treatment. But medicines used to treat HCV infection can cause problems during pregnancy. If you and your partner are planning to have a baby soon, this will likely affect your hepatitis C treatment plans. Talk with your healthcare provider.
Which medicine is best? Your healthcare provider will incorporate different aspects of your health history and other medicines that you are taking to determine which treatment is best. It will also help determine how long you will take it.
March 16, 2019
Jen Lehrer MD