Hepatitis C


Millions of people are being diagnosed with Hepatitis C annually. Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that is transmitted via contact with infected blood. There are two types of Hepatitis C: Acute Hepatitis and Chronic Hepatitis. With Acute Hepatitis C Infection the symptoms appear within a 6-month period of the disease. After acquiring the virus, the body either defeats the virus or continues to develop chronic infection. Chronic Hepatitis C virus infection can cause serious liver damage over time, including cirrhosis or liver cancer. 70% or 80% people exposed to HCV virus don’t develop symptoms in the early stages, until they acquired liver damage, which can take years. Hepatitis C can be detected with a blood test to measure liver function and liver enzyme levels.
Sometimes, Hepatitis C can cause severe liver damage that results in liver failure. The only option for end-stage treatment is a liver transplant. Chronic Hepatitis C infection is the number one reason for liver transplantation worldwide.
More than 50% of the patients with HCV can be cured. Hepatitis C is considered cured if there is no virus detected in the blood 6 months after completion of the treatment, in other words, achieved sustained virologic response (VSR). The course of treatment depends on the illness, the genotype, the viral load, the degree of damage and the health condition of the patient. The antiviral therapy for Chronic Hepatitis C is individualized and determined on a case-by-case basis. That’s why it’s important to be under care of the expert in the field. Medications for Hepatitis C include:
 Interferon (Roferon, Infergen, Intron A)
 Pegylated Interferon (Pegasys, Pegintron)
 Ribavirin (CoPegus, Rebetol)
 Boceprevir (Victrelis)
 Telaprevir (Incivek)
 Simeprevir (Olysio)
 Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi)
 Ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir (Harvoni)
With more and more drugs on the way to being approved by the FDA and entering the U.S. market, the chances to be completely cured are getting higher and higher.