How Is Hepatitis Treated?
Treatment options are determined by which type of hepatitis you have and whether the infection is acute or chronic.
Hepatitis A isn’t usually treated. Bed rest may be recommended if symptoms cause a great deal of discomfort. If you experience vomiting or diarrhea, you will be put on a special diet created by your doctor to prevent malnutrition or dehydration. Vaccination can also prevent hepatitis A infections by helping your body produce the antibodies that fight this type of infection. Most children receive the vaccination between ages 12 and 18 months. Vaccination is also available for adults.
Acute hepatitis B doesn’t require specific treatment. Chronic hepatitis B is treated with antiviral medications. This form of treatment can be costly because it must be followed for several months or years. Treatment for chronic hepatitis B also requires regular medical evaluations and monitoring to determine if the virus is progressing. It is recommended that all newborns are vaccinated, like all healthcare and medical personnel.
Antiviral medications are used to treat both acute and chronic forms of hepatitis C. People who develop chronic hepatitis C are typically treated with a combination of antiviral drug therapies. They may also need further testing to determine the best form of treatment. People who develop cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver disease as a result of chronic hepatitis C may be candidates for a liver transplant.
Hepatitis D is treated with a medication called alpha interferon. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, between 60 to 97 percent of people develop hepatitis D again even after treatment.
There are currently no specific medical therapies to treat hepatitis E. Because the infection is often acute, it typically resolves on its own. People with this type of infection are often advised to get adequate rest, drink plenty of fluids, get enough nutrients, and avoid alcohol.
Treatment Response In Key Trials
- Sofosbuvir, RBV and PEG-IFN in Treatment-Naive Hepatitis C Genotype 1,4,5:
Regimen: 12 Weeks
G1 (89%) – G1a (92%) – G1b (82%)
- Sofosbuvir and RBV in Treatment-Naive Hepatitis C Genotype 2 or 3 patients:
Regimen: 12 Weeks
- Sofosbuvir and RBV for Hepatitis C G2 and G3 patients who are Unwilling, Intolerant or Ineligible for Peg-IFN Treatment:
Regimen: 16 Weeks
- Sofosbuvir and RBV Prevent Recurrence of HCV Infection After Liver Transplantation for G1, G2, G3 and G4:
Regimen: 24 to 48 Weeks, or until the time of liver transplantation
Success Rate: 49% achieved pTVR12
- Sofosbuvir and RBV in Hepatitis C Genotype 2 and 3:
Regimen: 12 Weeks (G2), 24 Weeks (G3)
- Sofosbuvir and RBV for Hepatitis C and HIV Co-Infection (G1, G2 and G3):
Regimen: 12 or 24 Weeks
- Harvoni for Hepatitis C, G1 and G6:
Regimen: 12 to 24 Weeks
Success Rate: 100%
The cost for 1 Harvoni treatment (3 months) in Mauritius is Rs. 50,000.-
peg-IFN: Peg-interferon; RBV: Ribavirin; G: Genotype; HCV: Hepatitis C Virus; SVR12: Sustained Virological Response 12 weeks after treatment completion; pTVR12: Post Transplant Virological Response 12 weeks after liver transplant.