What You Need to Know About Hepatitis Drugs

Recommended Drugs for Hepatitis

When hepatitis occurs, your liver writhes from inflammation or swelling. This happens mostly because of viral infections; however this is not only the rationale behind why certain individuals get hepatitis. It can also be due to autoimmune hepatitis, which occurs when the body orchestrates antibodies that work against your liver tissues. Hepatitis also takes hold because of excessive use and intake of drugs, medications, alcohol and toxins.

The viral infection in the liver is classified into five types - hepatitis types A, B, C, D, E viruses. The hepatitis A virus is the mildest while hepatitis D is the one considered as the most severe. The treatment process for these types of hepatitis normally depends on the form of diagnosed hepatitis, as well as its causes. Some of the hepatitis types can be prevented through proper hygiene. Some can also be treated simply by getting enough rest, while others really need recommended drugs.

What Types of Hepatitis are Treated with Drugs? Which are Not?         

The use of suggested drugs in order to treat hepatitis is contingent on the type of hepatitis present in your body. It also depends if your hepatitis is acute or chronic. The hepatitis that can be treated with medication include hepatitis B, C and D. Hepatitis A and E require other forms of treatment. Hepatitis B that is acute does not necessarily need specific treatment, but if it is chronic, it can be treated with anti-viral medications.

The treatment can be costly and it should be consistent for months, and even years. Some of the drugs necessary for hepatitis B include Interferon Alpha, lamivudine, Entecavir, Telbvudine and others.

For treating hepatitis C, the recommended drugs would include pegylated interferon, ribavirin and others.

Hepatitis C is commonly treated through a combination of therapies and an antiviral drug. People with severe chronic hepatitis C can end up needing liver transplants. The hepatitis D is already addressed through the medication of alpha interferon. Hepatitis A and E can be treated through medical therapies, adequate rest as well as proper nutrients and fluid.

Recommended Drugs for Hepatitis

  • Interferon Alpha –This drug is given through injection. This is given several times per week for about six months and it may last for a year or even longer. This drug is suitable for treating hepatitis in both adults and children.
  • Ribavirin – This drug is used with the combination of ribavirin and interferon. Ribavirin is not used alone if you want to cure hepatitis C. Combining ribavirin and pegylated interferon will provide you with greater odds of treating the virus.
  • Pegylated Interferon – This is injected once a week and lasts for about six months to one year. This drug should only be used for adults.
  • Lamivudine – This drug is in the form of pills, which are taken daily. One pill per day is already enough, but it should be taken consistently for about one year or more depending on the condition of the disease. This pill is available for adults and children.
  • Adefovir Dipivoxil – This is also in the form of pills, and taken once daily. This is consistently selected to treat the virus.
  • Harvoni – This is the approved medication for treating HCV genotype 1, especially to adults. This is also in a form of a pill taken daily, even without food. If you were not cured by your previous medications, Harvoni has a 99 percent chance of curing it. This must be taken for about 24 weeks.

Side Effects of Drugs

Drugs used to cure hepatitis are likely to have similar side effects. These side effects are mostly mild and easily overcome. Some of them include fatigue, headache, nausea, insomnia, diarrhea, depression and flu-like symptoms. These side effects are normally felt in those who take the medication more than once a day. These drugs are proven effective in treating hepatitis. However, some of these drugs are still accompanied with other drugs and therapies to effectively lessen the virus in the body. Be sure that it is recommended by your doctor in order to avoid severe side effects.

Although there are medications available to treat hepatitis, prevention is still very important. You have to be careful with what you eat, drink and do. These drugs are recommended for patients who are diagnosed with hepatitis type B, C and D. Drugs for hepatitis B are sometimes not effective for curing hepatitis C. If you want to make sure you’re taking the appropriate medicine and dose, it’s necessary for you to consult your doctor. Unfortunately, failure to abide by the labels and dosage will just make your hepatitis and liver disease worse.

References: Manns MP, Wedemeyer H, Cornberg M. Treating viral hepatitis C: efficacy, side effects, and complications. Gut. 2006 Sep;55(9):1350-9. Almasio PL, Babudieri S, Barbarini G, Brunetto M, Conte D, Dentico P, Gaeta GB, Leonardi C, Levrero M, Mazzotta F, Morrone A, Nosotti L, Prati D, Rapicetta M, Sagnelli E, Scotto G, Starnini G. Recommendations for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chronic hepatitis B and C in special population groups (migrants, intravenous drug users and prison inmates). Dig Liver Dis. 2011 Aug;43(8):589-95.

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