Interferon and Hepatitis C

When it comes to treating a case of Hepatitis C, there are few options available. Its a disease that works by attacking the liver, causing it to become inflamed. Hepatitis C is a chronic illness which will not dissipate on its own, and the inflammation of the liver that is caused by the disease may result in more serious conditions such as liver cancer or cirrhosis of the liver. That being said, Hepatitis C is the number one reason across the world that people undergo liver transplants.

The disease shows very few symptoms, and one who is afflicted may have the disease for decades before realizing the fact. When a case of Hepatitis C is discovered, however, doctors often employ the use of two different drugs in order to help the body to combat the virus. In this article, well focus on the compound that is known as interferon, and well discuss how it helps the body and what you need to consider before taking the drug.

No Cure-All

While the benefits of the compound known as interferon can be very positive for helping the body to deal with a case of Hepatitis C, it is by no means a solve-all for the disease. Many people with Hepatitis C opt to avoid using the drug, as a matter of fact. This can be due to numerous reasons. For one, there are many cases of Hepatitis C that are slow-acting, and the disease may not be damaging your liver significantly enough to merit treatment. In cases such as this, patients often visit the doctor at regular intervals in order to undergo blood tests to determine how much damage the condition is doing to their body.

Another thing that is often a roadblock when it comes to using interferon is the cost of the drug. When used on a regular basis, the costs of interferon rest at around six thousand dollars per year. While some insurance carriers foot the bill, others dont, and its important to find out if your plan covers the drug before making a decision.

Interferon Types

There are two different types of interferon alpha, the compound that works the best for those with Hepatitis C: regular interferon alpha, and pegylated interferon alpha. They are largely the same compound, but those who take the regular interferon alpha need to inject the medication on a daily basis.

Pegylated interferon alpha, on the other hand, was recently approved by the FDA, and it is of benefit to those who need interferon alpha because it works just the same as regular interferon alpha, but it only needs to be injected once per week. Interferon alpha is actually produced within the human body, and it is a powerful antiviral agent which can be very useful when it comes to helping to fight off the Hepatitis C virus.