Symptoms and Signs of Hepatitis C Medications

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 12/6/2021

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 f
  • ever.

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.

What Is the Treatment for Hepatitis C?

Treatment for hepatitis C consists of prevention of further damage to the liver and antiviral treatment regimens designed to get rid of the virus. 

If you have hepatitis C, in addition to talking to your liver specialist doctor about treatments, you should:

Current treatments for hepatitis C usually involve 8 to 12 weeks of oral therapy (pills) with a cure rate over 90% with few side effects. Currently approved FDA treatments for hepatitis C include:

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REFERENCE:

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