Treatment now takes between 8 to 12 weeks and is a course of tablets that have hardly any side effects.
Treatment for chronic Hep C (Infected longer than 6 months) involves:
• Taking usually one tablet daily for 8-12 weeks, 24 weeks for some.
• Tests called a Fibroscan or Ultrasound to test for any damage done to the liver
• Making some lifestyle changes particularly in relation to alcohol use
There are 6 main genotypes of the virus although, the most common in Ireland are 1 and 3 it is possible to have more than one genotype. Although genotypes aren’t as important as they used to be they still help inform the tablets you take.
The Tablets Explained
The current treatment for Hep C involves tablets known as Direct Acting Antivirals or DAA’s. These are estimated to be the safest and most effective method of curing the virus with a success rate of over 95%.
DAA’s = The drugs are directed at multiple targets sites in the Hep C virus, inhibiting or preventing the virus from replicating or reproducing in the liver.
Generally treatment involves one tablet for 8-12 weeks. During this time your blood will be monitored by the nurse and throughout the treatment you will be advised about how your body is responding in terms of the viral load count. This count tends to come down drastically very quickly after commencing treatment. Just because this happens it does not mean that treatment can be stopped, it is important to finish the prescribed course of medication.