Dr.Rajasekar renowed Liver Specialist offers comprehensive treatment for Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C - Treatment
The goal of treatment of hepatitis-C is to achieve sustained viral response (SVR) or virological cure. 75% of the patients on interferon based older regimens achieved cure and >90% achieved SVR with addition of newer anti-viral agents like Sofusbuvir, Simeprevir and Boceprevir. Combination of these drugs with Pegylated Interferon is preferable to single drug therapy, to avoid emergence of drug resistance. Absence of viral RNA in serum of infected individuals for a period > 12 weeks after completion of treatment is considered as SVR. These patients continue to have anti-HCV antibodies in serum while being negative for RNA on Nueclic Acid Test (NAT). Achieving SVR is an important therapeutic endpoint for those infected with HCV virus as it reduces liver cell necrosis, arrests progression of fibrosis, eradicates symptoms, decreases the risk of liver cancer by 70%, decreases co-morbidities and risk related to cirrhosis and liver transplantation, reduces portal hypertension and hyperactivity of enlarged spleen. Due to these benefits, HCV must be detected and treated early in the course of the disease. It is never too late to treat hepatitis-C at any stage of the disease including those awaiting liver replacement.
Patients infected with hepatitis C should refrain from consumption of alcohol and smoking. Both accelerates the rate of liver fibrosis and shortens the time to liver cirrhosis and development of cancer. Patients undergoing treatment are advised to have good rest, adequate hydration and take healthy high fibre diet. Viral genotype-3, alcohol consumption, co-infection with other hepatitis viruses like B virus, higher necro-inflamatory score on biopsy and male to male sex are considered to be high risk factors for accelerated progression of liver fibrosis and require early and aggressive treatment. The exact combination of the available drugs and duration of treatment is best left to liver experts who would base it on various clinical and laboratory inputs.