Chronic, or long-term, Hepatitis C can go unnoticed for many years because there are no physical symptoms that can be seen or noticed from outside of the body.
Chronic Hep C treatment usually involves a combination of antiviral medicines which work within 12 weeks to a year, depending on the severity of a patient’s Hep C condition.
Treatments now come in the form of pills that can be taken orally over the course of several weeks. There are now treatments for all of the genotypes of the Hep C virus available to patients.
There is no guarantee that a treatment that worked for one patient will work the same for another, although common side effects for a majority of chronic Hep C treatments are headaches, nausea and fatigue.
If chronic Hep C is left unchecked for too long, there is a chance that severe liver damage can occur and could even lead to liver failure.
Severe liver damage can take up to 20 years to fully develop – usually if a patient continues to do things that damage the liver, such as heavy drinking. If liver-failure happens, then the only viable option is to have a liver transplant.
It is advised that a patient should continuously have a routine blood test, even if a patient is not taking any medicine to treat his, or her, Hep C. Getting a blood test indicates to a doctor how well a patient’s liver is, or isn’t, doing.
All chronic Hep C treatments will depend on a variety of different characteristics of a patient, including any other existing health conditions that they may have, how damaged their liver is, and what genotype of Hep C a patient has.
It is advised that all patients should consult with their doctors before moving on to any treatments.
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