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Treating Hepatitis C (HCV)

Man sitting at desk talking with healthcare provider.

It’s likely that hepatitis C virus (HCV) was found when routine liver tests were done on your blood, or after you donated blood. Once hepatitis C is found, a medical evaluation helps assess if you have liver disease. You may also have a small liver sample (biopsy) taken to see if medicines may help. Acute Hepatitis C often resolves without treatment. With new treatments, chronic (long-term) hepatitis C can be cured in most people. 

Take these steps

To help keep your body strong and possibly ease symptoms:

  • Avoid stressing your liver. Don’t use alcohol or any unneeded medicines. This includes over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen. These can stress the liver. Always check with your healthcare provider first before taking any over-the-counter medicines or supplements.

  • Eat a balanced diet. A diet low in fat, high in fiber, and full of fresh fruits and vegetables helps you stay healthy.

  • Take prescribed medicines. Your provider will talk with you about the types of medicines that will work best for you. You may need to take medicines to treat hepatitis C for several months. Compared with past treatments, new medicines are very effective at curing the disease. They also have fewer side effects, and are taken for a shorter period of time.

Follow up regularly

Hepatitis C can get worse and hurt your liver without your knowing it. Stay in regular contact with your provider and healthcare team. They can watch your condition. They can tell you about any new research and types of treatment for hepatitis C.

 

Remember: No vaccine or medicine can prevent the spread of HCV and hepatitis C. It’s up to you to keep others safe.

  • Cover all skin breaks and sores yourself. If you need help, the person treating you should wear latex gloves.

  • Use condoms during sex.

  • Don’t donate blood, plasma, other body tissue, or sperm.

  • Don’t share needles, razors, toothbrushes, manicure tools, or other personal items.

  • Hepatitis C can live on surfaces outside the body at room temperature for up to 4 days. Clean any blood spills using 1 part household bleach with 10 parts water. Wear gloves when cleaning.

  • Talk with your healthcare provider about joining a support group.

Online Medical Reviewer: Fraser, Marianne, MSN, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Image reviewed by StayWell art team.
Online Medical Reviewer: Lehrer, Jenifer, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2016
© 2000-2016 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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