Symptoms and Signs of Hepatitis C Medications

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

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.

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