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Symptoms and Signs of Hepatitis C Medications

Doctor's Notes on Hepatitis C Medications

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver that may be caused by viral infections, alcohol, medications, chemicals, poisons, etc. Hepatitis C is inflammation of the liver caused by infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV). With newer medications hepatitis C can be treated with oral combinations of medicines for several weeks. These newer medications cure the virus from the blood in over 90% of cases. Drugs used to treat HCV are called direct-acting agents (DAAs) and they are most often used in combinations. Examples include protease inhibitors, nucleotide polymerase inhibitors, and NS5A inhibitors.

Hepatitis C may cause no symptoms in the early stages. When symptoms do occur they may include fatigue, loss of appetite, muscular aches, and fever. Symptoms of chronic hepatitis C include scarring ("fibrosis") of the liver called cirrhosis. Common side effects of direct-acting agents (DAAs) include fatigue, headache, and diarrhea.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Hepatitis C Medications Symptoms

Symptoms of Acute Hepatitis C Infection

The majority of newly-infected patients identified with HCV do not have symptoms. The minority of patients who have symptoms typically have complaints of

Symptoms of Chronic Hepatitis C Infection

Chronic hepatitis C usually causes no symptoms until very late in the disease. Over years or decades, chronic inflammation may cause scarring ("fibrosis"). Extensive scarring in the liver is called cirrhosis.

Becoming infected with another viral hepatitis or other exposures that damage the liver in addition to hepatitis C can increase liver damage or even cause severe hepatitis. Having HIV infection along with HCV accelerates the progression of chronic hepatitis C to end-stage liver disease, sometimes shortening the course to a few years instead of decades.

Hepatitis C Medications Causes

The hepatitis C is part of a family of viruses called flaviviruses.

Hepatitis C (Hep C) Symptoms and Treatment Slideshow

Hepatitis C (Hep C) Symptoms and Treatment Slideshow

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. It is a member of the family of viruses that include hepatitis A and hepatitis B. The viruses behave differently and have different modes of transmission. Hepatitis C can cause serious liver damage, liver failure, liver cancer, and even death.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.