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Common Hepatitis C Treatment Side Effects

Last updated: March 2022

Over the years, hepatitis C treatments have gotten much better in many ways. There are currently more treatment options, with fewer side effects and shorter treatment time.

Today, interferon is rarely used, and with many of the new treatments, Ribavirin is rarely used. DAA’s (direct-acting antivirals) have led the way for improved, targeted treatment, with fewer side effects, shorter treatment times, and high cure rates.

How do new treatments work?

DAA’s are formulated to attack the protein in the virus-cell and keeping it from replicating. There are four classes of direct acting antiviral’s which are designed to target specific area’s of the virus.

There are several treatments which are considered pan-genotypic, which are formulated to work on all genotypes (virus strains). Other treatments specifically work on certain genotypes and liver condition.

Which treatment is best for me?

Which hepatitis C treatment is best suited for each patient is carefully determined by the physician taking into account the patients genotype (virus strain), viral load, the patients liver and health condition, as well as other medical conditions, and medications the patient takes.

Your doctor will select a specific hepatitis C treatment based on your specific genotype, as well as your overall health. Many patients share a similar concern: treatment side effects.

What are the side effects of treatment?

With today's improved hepatitis C treatments, many patients say that they are able to function very well and keep up their normal routine, many while working full-time.

Many patients say that they experience few to no side effects, while some patients report experiencing some side effects at the onset of treatment and decreasing after a few weeks. Every patient’s treatment experience is a bit different and unique to them.

The most common treatment side effects for hepatitis C treatments today include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Mild nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia

If Ribavirin is used in addition to other hepatitis C treatments, side effects can include:

  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability/anxiety

The majority of patients report these side effects to be the most common experienced throughout treatment:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache

How long does treatment take?

For many patients, the standard treatment time is 12 weeks with today's treatments. Depending on viral load and liver condition, some treatments can be finished in 8 weeks, while some need 24 weeks to be effective.

Once treatment is completed, some side effects can linger into recovery, but begin to dissipate each week. Fatigue is the most common side effect reported in recovery. Cure rates for many hepatitis treatments today range from 95% to 99%.

Do you have a question or comment about hepatitis C treatment side effects? Comment below, or click here to learn how to ask anonymously.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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