It’s estimated that almost 5 million Americans may be dealing with Hepatitis C. While some of them may not know it, those who are diagnosed with a chronic form of the disease will be prescribed an appropriate treatment regimen. These medications, however, usually come with side effects that many people find to be difficult to handle. If you’ve been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, it’s good to know what to expect from the treatment and how you can cope with the effects.
Typical Medications Used To Treat Hepatitis C
The first thing you need to know is that there is no one size fits all treatment for Hepatitis C. Your doctor will need to assess your overall health, your liver, and your blood to decide which medications will work best.
Your treatment can be a single drug or a combination of drugs that have been shown to be most effective when taken together. Depending on what you’re given, you may need to take the drugs for up to 24 weeks.
Some of the options include:
- Elbasvir and grazoprevir – Typically given to those with other chronic conditions
- Glecaprevir and pibrentasvir
- Ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir, with dasabuvir – Typically useful for people whose livers have started to scar
- Simeprevir and sofosbuvir
- Sofosbuvir and velpatasvi
- Sofosbuvir, velpatasvir, and voxilaprevir – Typically prescribed when other treatments have failed and you have no cirrhosis of the liver
The Hep C Medication Side Effects You Might Experience
As you might expect, different drugs have different side effects. Some of the common side effects of Hepatitis C drugs are headache, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, itchy skin, weakness, confusion, rashes, trouble sleeping, depression, joint pain, hair loss, and flu-like symptoms.
In some cases, existing conditions may flare-up, you may have serious shortness of breath and your blood count may fall. The drugs can lower and affect your heart to the point where you need a pacemaker. Certain drugs can also affect the effectiveness of birth control.
When you’re discussing treatment with your doctor, make sure the side effects are clear. You should discuss any other medications you’re