No, the only treatments that have been proven effective are the lengthy ones. Anything that promises a cure in three injections is a hoax of some kind, designed more to get your money than to get the virus. There are new treatments currently being studied that require no injections at all, but they still require 12-24 weeks of treatment, and they are not yet finished with testing. They are expected to be on the market in a couple of years. You have to realize that this virus is very difficult to kill and can permeate most of the liver. Anything that could kill it all quickly would probably damage so much of the liver that it would kill the patient. Even the current slow methods prove to be too much for some patients and treatment has to stop. Protect your health by sticking with the best liver doctors and the well-researched treatments.
3 shots! We could only wish! I'm looking at 48 if we go the whole distance. I have 3 down :). This virus not only permeates our livers but our entire bodies. Our blood is drenched in it, therefore so is our brain and every organ, joint, muscle, etc. It MUST be destroyed.
The currently available treatment protocols vary depending on the genotype if your Hepatitis C virus (determined via a specific blood test) and on the status of your liver (determined by a liver biopsy). I am not particularly knowledgeable about the less common genotypes. I had genotype 1, the most common, and I can tell you the current treatment protocols for it. If you are not cirrhotic, you would be put on a triple tx (treatment) including weekly injections of interferon, twice-daily doses of ribavirin pills and a third drug, a protease inhibitor. There are two kinds of protease inhibitors that doctors can choose, with somewhat different dosing regimens. I took the one called Incivek so I can tell you more about that one. Both are given in pill form. The protocol for non-cirrhotics depends on how rapidly their body responds to the drugs. They will count the viral load in your bloodstream before tx and then usually do another count every 2 weeks in the beginning. If the viral load becomes UND (undetectable) by the 4th week of tx, then the tx will last 24 weeks. If it is still detectable at that point the tx must be 48 weeks. If your liver biopsy shows stage 4 fibrosis (meaning you are cirrhotic) then the tx must be 48 weeks regardless of the speed if achieving UND status. The tx consists then of using interferon, ribavirin and Incivek, all three drugs, for the first 12 weeks, then dropping the Incivek and continuing with interferon and ribavirin until the full time, either 24 or 48 weeks, is up. Odds of SVR (sustained viral response, generally thought if as a cure) are very good in anyone who completes the necessary time of tx. The final test for SVR is 24 weeks after completing tx. I hope this helps clarify things for you.
If you are sure you have HCV you really should be seeing a hepatologist regularly for monitoring. The virus does increase your risk of both cirrhosis and liver cancer. If its difficult to find a good hepatologist in your area then a gastroenterologist is the next-best. You should have a liver biopsy to determine whether fibrosis is present yet and to what degree. Some doctors use non-invasive tests to measure this instead of biopsy, they are a little less accurate but probably sufficient. The current tx I outlined for you frequently causes unpleasant side effects, and sometimes they become downright dangerous, so you REALLY want the tx administered by a good and caring group of people. A couple of new drugs are currently being studied that promise very good cure rates with minimal side effects and shorter times for tx, but no one knows exactly when they will become approved and readily available, so it is not advisable to wait for them unless your liver is still in very good condition. Do take some steps to find a good doctor and get a thorough evaluation, then you will better know what you need to do. Best wishes!
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