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Hepatitis C

Also called: Hep C

An infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation.

The virus is spread by contact with contaminated blood, for example, from sharing needles or from unsterile tattoo equipment.

Most people have no symptoms. Those who do develop symptoms may have fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, and yellowing of the eyes and skin.

Hepatitis C is treated with antiviral medications. In some people, newer medicines can eradicate the virus.



How it spreads

By blood products (unclean needles or unscreened blood). By mother to baby by pregnancy, labor, or nursing

Symptoms

Requires a medical diagnosis

Most people have no symptoms. Those who do develop symptoms may have fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, and yellowing of the eyes and skin.

Can have no symptoms, but people may experience:

  • Pain areas: in the abdomen
  • Gastrointestinal: bleeding, bloating, fluid in the abdomen, or nausea
  • Whole body: fatigue, fever, or loss of appetite
  • Skin: web of swollen blood vessels in the skin or yellow skin and eyes
  • Also common: depression or weight loss

Treatments

Treatment consists of hcv antivirals

Hepatitis C is treated with antiviral medications. In some people, newer medicines can eradicate the virus.

Medications

Antiviral drug: Reduces viruses' ability to replicate.

  • Interferon alfa-2b (Pegintron)
  • Pegylated interferon alfa
  • Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi)
  • Ribavirin (Rebetol, Copegus, Virazole, and Ribasphere)
    Simeprevir (Olysio)
  • Ledipasvir

Self-care

Avoid alcohol: May be harmful and aggravate certain conditions.

Surgery

Liver transplantation: Surgical replacement of a diseased liver with some or all of a healthy liver from a donor.

Specialists

Infectious disease doctor: Treats infections, including those that are tropical in nature.

Hepatologist: Focuses on liver, gallbladder, and biliary tree disorders.

Gastroenterologist: Focuses on the digestive system and its disorders.

Primary care provider (PCP): Prevents, diagnoses, and treats diseases.

Consult a doctor for medical advice


Note: The information you see describes what usually happens with a medical condition, but doesn't apply to everyone. This information isn't medical advice, so make sure to contact a healthcare provider if you have a medical problem. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or a emergency number immediately.

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