Re-Treatment When Prior Hepatitis C Treatment Failed
Treatment for hepatitis C has a high cure rate - over 90%, in most cases. But what if your hepatitis C treatment failed, what do you do next?
If the treatment doesn't work...
Hearing the words, “I’m sorry, you’re not responding to treatment” is the last thing you want to hear. I personally experienced disappointment with my first two treatments. If you’ve experienced failed treatment, you have a critical choice to make; either give up or never give up until you achieve the goal to be cured. I chose moving forward with another treatment. My third treatment brought the cure; My hepatitis C was finally defeated once and for all. This year, I’m celebrating 8 years free and clear.
Your liver specialist will need to try to determine the cause of treatment failure in order to know what future treatment to try.
Considerations for retreatment
Once you have done any hepatitis C treatment, you are "treatment-experienced", which will be considered when determining what other treatment will be best for your condition.
Additional hepatitis C treatment options need to be considered based on the patient’s past treatment experience. Your doctor will also consider:
- Past experiences with treatment side effects
- Possbile rug interactions
- The risk of HBV (hepatitis B virus) reactivation
- Patient age
- Co-infections with HIV/HCV
- Genotype or mixed genotype
- Level of cirrhosis
- History of liver and/or kidney transplant
- Severe renal impairment or end-stage renal disease
Prior to retreatment, your doctor may want to evaluate and/or test you for the other hepatitis C related conditions listed above. Typically, patients with prior treatment experience should be monitored closely by their physicians when being retreated. Treatment time will vary based on your past treatment experiences, test results, and other medical conditions.
Tips for retreatment
Prior to retreatment
- Discuss questions, concerns, and test results with your physician prior to retreatment.
- Be proactive with taking care of yourself. Some ideas include: Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. Losing weight, if suggested by your doctor. Engaging in mild excise. Drinking pure water. Avoiding alcohol and drugs. Joining a support group.
- If you experience any treatment side effects, report to your physician and healthcare team.
- Keep up with tests and physician appointments.
- Take treatment medication as prescribed. Do not alter or stop treatment unless your physician tells you to.
- Report any post-treatment side effects to your physician.
- Keep up with post-treatment tests and physician appointments.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. This may include drinking at least 64 ounces of pure water daily, eating nutritious foods, and/or continuing to avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Be patient in the recovery process. Take rest stops when needed.
Never give up. Take care of yourself and seek retreatment. You’re worth it!
Does reading hep C patient stories aid you in your journey?