Hepatitis C treatment
As opposed to hepatitis A and hepatitis B, there is no vaccination (inoculation) against hepatitis C. The treatment of hepatitis C consists of monitoring the liver and the disease progress, and dealing with the virus.
The treatment of hepatitis C depends on a number of different factors:
- The extent of liver damage (fibrosis stadium: F0-F4);
- The severity of the complaints and liver pain;
- Whether you also suffer from a metabolic disease, such as diabetes;
- Whether you have another virus infection, such as HIV;
- The genotype.
There are seven different strains of hepatitis C. These are marked with the numbers 1 to 7. They are referred to as genotypes.
Medication for hepatitis C
For patients who require them, various medicines are available for treating hepatitis C (and some of the symptoms).
The length of hepatitis C treatment depends on the genotype and the extent of liver damage (fibrosis, cirrhosis or post liver transplant) and, if applicable, other infections. This means that hepatitis C treatment differs from patient to patient. The doctor will make a prognosis in advance and monitor the effectiveness of treatment while it is being given.
The goal of using medicines
The goal of medicinal treatment of hepatitis C is to clear the virus from the body. As a result, it can no longer damage the liver and the risk of liver inflammation is decreased. Fibrosis that may possibly be present in the liver is cured. The risk of transferring the virus is also minimised.
A joint decision
Your doctor will indicate when it is necessary to start taking medicines. If there are no indications of active liver inflammation, the doctor may decide to postpone treatment. This will of course take place in consultation with you. The patient may also wish to postpone or not receive any treatment for liver inflammation due to their personal circumstances.
You can also have personal reasons for not wishing to undergo treatment. If someone has hepatitis C but does not want to receive treatment, it is important for the people around them to understand and respect the patient's decision. Support from friends and family is important so you can continue to talk about the disease and its consequences.