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Do-Overs with Hepatitis C Treatment

Doctors have used a variety of treatments over the last 30 years in an effort to help get rid of the hepatitis C virus. Some of the treatments were very effective for some, but not for others. The newer meds show a lot of promise for everyone. If you have treated before and hep C comes back, you may be able to get do-overs with Hepatitis C treatment.

In the past, the virus did not always work for every genotype. Doctors did the best with the current research. Some people would get the “not detected”, and then get the virus again. In many cases, they never really cleared the virus.

In other cases, if you took a certain treatment, you were not allowed to use the same medications for treatment again, because it would not work. Your body can build up a resistance. That created a lot of fear if you knew this was your one shot and it was pass or fail.

Never fear. That has all changed in the last few years. Because the number of drugs on the market have greatly increased, there are so many more options available for treatment. Even if you have failed treatment, you can take the newer medications. The chance of clearing the virus is now available to just about everyone.

The daily fixed dose of several medications are given according to different variables. If treatment with Interferon and Ribavirin has failed, the newer drugs can be used based on liver health.

Some things your medical team will look are included in the list below.

NS5A RAVs – treatment that failed can be treated again with certain drugs if there are no NS5A RAVs. The RAVs, as they are called, stand for resistant associated variants. Basically, it means someone has treated and was not cured. It also means that the drugs may not work as well because the person has developed a resistance to the treatment drug.

Healthy Liver – Certain drugs will only be used if there is no cirrhosis, or advanced liver disease, present. That is decided by your team by using different blood labs, a liver biopsy, and/or other indicators of liver health. If you feel you have advanced liver disease, ask your doctor to perform the tests and give you a stage of cirrhosis. Your liver goes through stages 1-4 before it hits end stage. Only your doctor can tell you what stage of liver diseas you have, but you can look for symptoms to give you clues.

Slight Liver Disease – If you have compensated cirrhosis, you may be able to treat with certain drugs, even if you have failed prior treatment. Compensated cirrhosis is where you have liver disease, but it is not advanced. It may only be in stage 1 or 2. Again, your doctor will advise you about the stage you are in.

Advanced Cirrhosis – Even if you have end stage liver disease, your medical team can treat you if your insurance will allow. Many have had reduced liver damage once they have cleared the virus.

There is a trend to put off treatment is there is no liver disease. That includes those who have failed treatment.

Find a doctor you can trust to help make the decision about whether you can get do-overs or a second chance at treatment after treatment failure. If your body has a rare build up of resistance, you may have to wait for other options. 6 years ago, there was no cure. As fast as things are moving now, chances are good that no one will be denied treatment for any reason in the near future.

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