Common Myths about Hep C Treatment
Today’s hepatitis C treatments are very different than treatments from decades before. As many people have heard, older treatments had many harsh side effects and required months of pills. Fortunately, today’s treatments are more effective, take less time, and often, have few sider effects. Many have 99% cure rates!
To better understand how the hepatitis C community talks about treatment, we asked our advocates, “What are common misconceptions about hepatitis C treatment?”. To learn more about today’s treatments, and some of the myths about treatment, check-out their responses below!
“One of the most common myths and misconceptions about hepatitis C treatment is that everyone’s treatment experience is the same. Everyone’s medical condition, liver condition, medications, and treatment experience are different and unique. There are some common side effects, but not everyone experiences these.”
“I found there were very few side effects. For me, the tiredness, nausea and headaches that my doctor discussed were a non-issue. One misconception I had was the distribution and monitoring of the treatment process. I received my medication in 3 batches, 1 per month and was required to personally pick up the medications at the pharmacy. When I committed to treatment, I was ill-informed as to how convoluted/monitored the process would be. Because I travel a lot, it was a potential obstacle. Eventually my advocate (speciality pharmacist) was able to petition the pharmaceutical company and they provide 2 rounds of medication instead of 1 so I could take them on my travels. You should be aware that you can’t miss a day in the process of treatment.”
“One misconception is that once you are cured, you can no longer contract hep C again. This is FALSE. Hep C can be contracted more than once. Because hep C has a cure but not a vaccine, individuals can contracting it more than once. If a person partakes in risky behaviors such as IV drug use or sharing needles, they are at a high risk of contracting it again.”
“I think one of the most common myths around treatment is that there is no cure. This may stem from the fact that hepatitis C is the first virus to be cured by a drug. Some viruses can be prevented through vaccination, such as smallpox or polio. Older drugs like interferon worked in approximately 35-40% of people. Once pharmaceutical companies developed direct-acting antivirals, hepatitis C is curable in close to 100% of patients.”