Hepatitis C is a blood-borne disease that millions of people across the world have contracted. The disease can cause much damage to the body, as it is known to attack the liver, causing cirrhosis and requiring the patient to often undergo a liver transplant in order to return to everyday life.
There are two phases of the disease; they are known as the acute phase and the chronic phase. When the disease has been caught within the first 6 months of contracting it, it is within the acute stage, and is therefore much easier to treat.
After 6 months, however, the disease can take hold of the body, resulting in a case of chronic Hepatitis C which can be much more troublesome. In this article, well be discussing the treatment options that are available for those who are in the early, acute stage of the disease, as it is the phase that is most easily treated.
When it comes to treating acute Hepatitis C, there are standards set in place that doctors most often employ in order to help patients to overcome the problem as quickly and easily as possible. These standards rely heavily on the usage of two different drugs in order to help the patient to make a full recovery.
The first agent necessary in combating acute Hepatitis C is known as interferon alpha. Normally secreted within the body by both B-cells and T-cells, interferon alpha is a type of antiviral agent that can help to ward off the Hepatitis C virus.
The regular usage of interferon alpha in those with Hepatitis C often results in the patient having better blood test results. Also, those who undergo interferon alpha therapy regularly to treat their Hepatitis C condition usually are known to have better results when it comes to liver biopsies that can show how far the disease has progressed.
While Hepatitis C patients who used interferon alpha in their treatment regimen used to have to inject themselves three times per week in order to get the desired results, a new type of the interferon has been created which can help to aid this process. Known as pegylated interferon alpha, this newly approved type of medication allows a Hepatitis C patient to only undergo one injection per week while still achieving the same results.
The other drug that is used most often when treating Hepatitis C is an antiviral agent that is known as Ribavirin. This drug is sold under several different trade names, including Copegus, Rebetol, and Ribasphere. Unlike interferon alpha, which needs to be injected to work properly, Ribavirin is often brought into the body via the means of an orally consumed capsule.
Its a synthetically formed agent which was created in the 1970s, originally intended to help fight influenza. The compound is of much efficiency when it comes to fighting Hepatitis C, but you should be cautioned that it may worsen any already-present cases of cardiac disease.
These two treatments are paramount to overcoming a problem with Hepatitis C. While not everyone can successfully eliminate the disease from their bodies, well over fifty percent of all cases of Hepatitis C can be effectively cured through these types of treatments when taken in tandem. Before beginning any medication regimen, its important to speak to your doctor, letting them know about any preexisting health conditions that may be worsened by the medication.