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A liver is shown with a large crack down the middle. Overlaid onto the liver is also a seismograph, showing an "earthquake" and "aftershock."

Hepatitis C Treatment After Effects

The goal for every hepatitis C patient is to be cured and to get their life back. Every patient’s treatment and recovery experience is a bit different.

After treatment ends

Typically, follow-up blood work is necessary for 12 to 24 weeks after treatment. If you remain non-detected for the virus during this time you receive what is called SVR, SVR12 and SVR24. SVR (sustained virologic response) means you remain clear of the hepatitis C virus for 12 and 24 weeks after treatment. Normally, this is when you are considered cured.

It may take a while before you stop looking over your shoulder wondering if the hepatitis C has returned, at least it did for me. It’s natural to wonder. However, now that you’ve come through hepatitis C and done treatment, if you feel sick in any way or experience after-effects of treatment, it’s natural to wonder if hepatitis C or treatment is the cause.

Dealing with treatment after effects

After-effects mean you’re experiencing some of the same side effects and symptoms you experienced during treatment, or you’re experiencing a new symptom.

If you’re experiencing or worried about after effects, here’s what you can do:

  1. Communicate with your physician and healthcare team about all symptoms you’re experiencing in recovery. Blood tests may need to be done in order to evaluate the problem.
  2. Learn the side effects of your treatment. Fatigue is the most common of all treatment side effects and can linger on into recovery for a while.
  3. Understand your liver condition (i.e. fibrosis or cirrhosis) and how this affects your recovery. For patients with cirrhosis, it may take longer to get over recovery side effects due to the liver function being slower.
  4. If you have cirrhosis and are taking medications, do not stop or alter these meds unless your physician advises. Remember, hepatitis C treatment can cure hepatitis C, but it does not cure cirrhosis. Continued testing and follow-up exams with your physician are necessary. You may continue to experience side effects with cirrhosis. Talk to your physician about side effects from cirrhosis.
  5. Evaluate your symptoms with your physician, especially you have other medical conditions
  6. If you are taking any medications, learn what side effects these medications have. Talk to your pharmacist to find out.
  7. If you continue to experience after effects of not feeling well, talk to your physician about seeing a specialist. You may have something totally unrelated to hepatitis C or treatment.
  8. Be patient in the recovery process. The timeline for recovery is different for every patient. Remember, your body has been battling hepatitis C and treatment and it takes a while for the liver to regenerate and to feel better.
  9. If you continue to experience after effects, you can also contact MedWatch. MedWatch is the Food and Drug Administration’s “Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program”.

Are you dealing with hepatitis C treatment after effects?

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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