Studies show that liver damage, HCV replication, and possibility of developing cirrhosis increase with alcohol intake. Alcohol aids hep C growth, increasing the danger of fibrosis. Avoid alcohol to protect liver when you have hep C, more so if undergoing treatment for HCV (the aim of which is to prevent hepatitis C from replicating). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advise one drink/two drinks per day for women/men respectively. Abstaining during the week and drinking in excess over weekends is not a solution. Seek medical help if required. Post treatment and recovery, abstaining from alcohol is advised to protect the liver.
The treatment for Hepatitis C aims as completely eliminating the virus from your body. If your body doesn’t contain any signs of virus even after 6 months of stopping the medication, your treatment of Hepatitis C is considered successful.Doctors and scientists began treating Hepatitis C back in 1990s with the help of interferon, a group of signaling proteins used for treating diseases caused by pathogens. Interferon improves and strengthens your immune system and your body’s ability to fight against the deadly virus by fortifying the defense system of the body.Later, a drug called Ribavirin was given along with interferon to improve the treatment of Hepatitis C. This combination of drugs worked wonders and significantly improved the success rate of treatment from late 1980s mere 5% to the early 2000s’ staggering 50%.Although, with time the doctors realized that the combination of interferon and ribavirin brings along a set of contraindications and side effects.
The patients suffered fever, muscular pains, anxiety, nausea and sleeping disorders. Also, the line of treatment was too slow and it took the medicine long 48 weeks to start working and showing some positive results.In 2011, two new drugs were approved by the FDA. These were telaprevir (Incivek) and boceprevir (Victrelis). These drugs helped in stopping the duplication of virus, the phenomenon by which the virus grows in the body .Now, the doctors started prescribing Telaprevir and Boceprevir along with interferon and Ribavirin. All these drugs together increased the success rate to whopping 70 %, although, the side effects too drastically increased in the patients who took this combination, according to Ana Lok, MD.
Recently, in the year 2013 and 2014, four new Hep C Cure tablets have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of Hepatitis C:
Treatment of Hepatitis C cannot be done under one rule of thumb. Depending on the type of virus and genotype the patient has, the prescription is made by the doctors. In the U.S., genotype 1 is the most commonly found Hepatitis C and Ledipasvir-sofosbuvir is a single pill treatment that can be given to the patients and there is no need to include ribavirin and interferon along with it.
Genotype 2 and 3 are also common in the U.S. but not as much as genotype 1. There are more types of hepatitis C viruses such as genotypes 4, genotype 5 and genotype 6 which are very rarely found among the patients in the U.S.
According to Lok, instead of the multi-pill treatment, the doctors as well as patients are very comfortable with this single pill treatment for Hepatitis C. giving the treatment to the patients without interferon has made the entire line of treatment exciting as well as relieving. Many such drugs are expected to roll out in a couple of years for providing better treatment to the patients.
Patients having chronic HCV genotype 1 are prescribed with Viekira Pak multi-pill. Viekira has a very high success rate at about 91 to 100%. This pill also helps in and works to ruling out the growth of Hepatitis C virus in the body. The doctors are prescribing Ombitasvir twice daily, Paritaprevir and Ritonavir tablets once daily each preferably in the mornings and one Dasabuvir tablet twice daily. This treatment goes on for 85 days, i.e., approximately 3 months.
Simeprevir along with interferon and Ribavirin is also a very successful combination for curing Hepatitis C. 80% of patients have recovered with this prescription too.