Health

Hepatitis C Diagnosis, Treatment Plan And Medicines

You should consider getting tested for
hepatitis C if you are concerned that you may have been infected or if you fall
into one of the groups with the highest risk of becoming infected. Hepatitis C
often has no symptoms, so you can still get infected if you feel healthy. The
following groups of people have an increased risk of hepatitis C.

babies
and children whose mothers have hepatitis CAnyone
accidentally exposed to the virus, such as health workersPeople
who have received a tattoo or a piercing where the equipment may not have been
properly sterilizedsexual
partners of people with hepatitis C

If you continue to participate in
high-risk activities, such as injecting drugs frequently, regular tests may be
recommended.

Test For Hepatitis
C:

The antibody blood test determines if
you have ever been exposed to the hepatitis C virus by detecting the presence
of antibodies against the virus. Your immune system produces antibodies to
fight germs. The test will not show a positive reaction for a few months after
infection because your body takes time to produce these antibodies. If the test
is negative, but you have symptoms or may have been exposed to hepatitis C, you
may be advised to have the test again. A positive test indicates that you have
been infected at some point. It does not necessarily mean that you are
currently infected, since you may have removed the virus from your body.

The PCR blood test checks if the virus
is still present by detecting if it is reproducing inside your body. A positive
test means that your body has not fought the virus and the infection has
progressed to a long-term (chronic) stage.

Treatment For Hepatitis
C:

If the infection is diagnosed in the
early stages, known as acute hepatitis, treatment may not need to begin
immediately. Instead, you may have another blood test after a few months to see
if your body fights the virus. If the infection continues for several months,
known as chronic hepatitis, treatment will usually be recommended.

Tablets
to fight the virusTest
to see if your liver is damagedLifestyle
changes to avoid further damage

There are 6 main strains of the virus.
In the United Kingdom, the most common strains are genotype 1 and genotype 3.
It can be infected with more than 1 strain. You will be offered the most
appropriate medication for your type of hepatitis C. During treatment, blood
tests should be done to verify that your medication is working. If not, you may
be advised to try another medication. This will only affect a small number of
people. Your doctor will also evaluate your liver for damage (scars), either
with a blood test or a scan called fibroscan. At the end of your treatment, you
will have a blood test to see if the virus has been removed and a second blood
test 12 or 24 weeks after the treatment has been interrupted. If both tests do
not show signs of the virus, this means that the treatment has been successful.

Hepatitis C is treated with
direct-acting antiviral tablets (DAA). DAA tablets are the safest and most
effective medicines to treat hepatitis C. They are highly effective in
eliminating the infection in more than 90% of people. The tablets are taken for
8 to 12 weeks. The duration of treatment will depend on the type of hepatitis C
you have. Some types of hepatitis C can be treated with more than 1 type of
DAA.

Hepatitis C Medications
Approved By NHS:

simeprevirsofosbuvirA
combination of ledipasvir and sofosbuvirA
combination of ombitasvir, paritaprevir and ritonavir, taken with or without
dasabuvirA
combination of sofosbuvir and velpatasvirA
combination of sofosbuvir, velpatasvir and voxilaprevirA
combination of glecaprevir and pibrentasvirribavarin

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