With treatment Hepatitis C can be cured. For some people who contract the virus treatment may not be needed as their own immune system may clear the virus from their system naturally.
For those who do need treatment, it can lead to a cure in up to 90% of people who take it. How successful the treatment is likely to be varies depending on how much damage the virus has already done to a person’s liver.
The drugs used to treat Hepatitis C are pills you take by mouth. Treatment lasts between 8 and 24 weeks. However if you have tried to take treatment before and it has failed to clear the virus, you may have to take treatment for up to 48 weeks.
Treatment for Hepatitis C is available across Scotland on the NHS. Not everyone is suitable for treatment though and an assessment process will decide if and when you can begin. The assessment process includes a number of factors including looking at what damage the virus has done to your body so far, how the medication may affect any other health conditions you have and your ability to attend regular medical appointments during the treatment.
Different people react differently to the Hepatitis C medication with some people experiencing side effects and others not. The most recent medications launched in 2014 have far fewer side effects than treatments previously used.
If you do start treatment and it doesn’t work first time to clear the virus, you’ll be able to talk to your doctor about trying again.
Visit Hepatitis Scotland’s website for more detailed information on treatment.