The Ribavirin/Interferon and triple therapy combos have really bad side effects and make people sick. The new drug combo of Riba/Sofosbuvir for a genotype 2/3 are supposed to be a lot better. (When approved) Its my understanding that for genotypes 1,4,5, and 6 that Sofosbuvir still has to be taken with Interferon so Id assume it would be just as nasty as taking it without the Sofosbuvir.
"Does it last a whole yr,"
Depends on many factors. Genotype, treatment naive or not, fibrosis...your doc's experience/preference. It can average 24-48 weeks The new combos are supposed to be 12-16 weeks.
Hi Luvbug~ it usually takes around 20 yrs for a person tostart getting sick from Hep C, and I notice you are still in your 30's.
If I were you I would just go and have a liver biopsy, before worrying about getting Treatment~
The Treatment that is available now would be very hard to manage,
while you are still fairly early in your sobriety, and with a toddler.
The Interferon comes with psychiatric symptoms sometimes, something my Doctor refers to as "Interferon Fury". That is why I waited until my sons were 10 and 12 yrs, to treat my Hep C. At that point I had had it 20 yrs, and it was time for me to treat.
If you get the biopsy over with, you may be surprised to find you still have little or no damage, or perhaps some damage, but it tends to move slowly, so you would have time to wait, until an eaiser cure comes out, which is predicted to be happening within a couple years, and we are all very excited about these new meds.
You can also decide to Treat, with these easier meds, right now, if you live close to a location where Research Docotrs are conducting "Clinical Research Studies" with these new meds. You would get paid to participate, wouldn't need medical insurance, and some of these Studies no NOT use Interferon, so it would be fine to do, while taking care of your toddler~
The Ribavirin/Interferon and triple therapy combos have really bad side effects and make people sick.
Given this forum is read by many patients contemplating doing therapy for HCV ,this seems to be a very general,broad statement..
To the OP:
Often there are certain side effects to the different drugs taken ,however which sides and the severity of such is variable from patient to patient ..anywhere from "very mild" to somewhat more severe"
Do you have chronic HCV(sorry did not have time to look at your profile) or have you only tested for the HCV antibodies"?
If you DO have HCV ......... as ABN asks " the genotyping is important ,as it will dictate what drug combinations would be needed in the event with consulation with your physician you decide to do treatment..
"Given this forum is read by many patients contemplating doing therapy for HCV ,this seems to be a very general,broad statement."
True...and I'm definitely not trying to scare anybody here...just sharing my experience. Treatment is definitely tolerated at different levels by different folks...some better than others. So without being "general" or "broad"....treatment can make many like myself very sick while others go on about there business normally. (Was that better)
This is from a WHO article, and I can go back and grab the link:
Chronic infection is often not symptomatic, until evidence of liver failure becomes clinically apparent. The rate of progression to cirrhosis is usually slow, with 20 or more years elapsing between infection and the development of serious complications.5, 41, 52
And this is from the CDC website:
What are the symptoms of Hepatitis C?
Most people with chronic Hepatitis C do not have any symptoms.
Whether or not you show symptoms depends on many factors, such
as how long you have had the virus and any other health conditions
you have. Symptoms of chronic Hepatitis C can take up to 30 years to
develop. When symptoms do appear, they can be a sign of serious liver
problems. If and when you experience symptoms, they can include:
fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark
urine, grey-colored bowel movements, joint pain, and jaundice.
And to LuvBug: It is easier to have successful Treatment, before your health is run down, but again, I would suggest you have a biopsy done. I treated when I was Stage 2 (the biopsy rates your liver health in stages, such as: stage 0 is no damage, stage 1 is some damage, stage 2 is moderate damage, stage 3 is two thirds damaged, and stage 4 indicates that your whole liver is hardened with scar tissue, and is also called "cirrhosis', and there is "compensated" and "decompensated" liver.
So when I say "damage" , I am referring to the amount of scar tissue in the liver.
The rate at which ﬁbrosis progresses varies markedly between patients. The major factors known to be associated with ﬁbrosis progression are older age at infection, male gender, and excessive alcohol consumption. Viral load and genotype do not seem to inﬂuence signiﬁcantly the progression rate. Progression of ﬁbrosis is more rapid in immunocompromised patients. Hepatic steatosis, obesity, and diabetes may also contribute to more rapid progression of ﬁbrosis. There are no tests that reliably predict the rate of progression of ﬁbrosis in an individual patient.There are no tests that reliably predict the rate of progression of ﬁbrosis in an individual patient. High serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels are associated with a higher risk of ﬁbrosis progression, and worsening of ﬁbrosis is uncommon in patients with persistently normal serum aminotransferase levels. Serum markers for ﬁbrosis are not reliable and need to be improved and validated.Liver biopsy provides the most accurate information on the stage of ﬁbrosis and grade of necroinﬂammation, both of which have prognostic signiﬁcance.
Thanks Will, it is a learning experience for me: I just now realized, I can copy and paste the pertinent paragraph (on the topic at hand) and then go back and copy/paste the link, without having to post twice.
Another learning experience is realizing that the words used, in Hep C education, have to be picked carefully and explained a bit. Instead of saying "sick from", I need to be more specific. Liver damage is always dangerous, while some other extra-hepatic symtoms may be painful and irritating, but the liver could still be in good shape.
Back to one of your statements Luvbug77, what do you mean when you say "my levels r very low". Are you referring to your liver enzymes, or are you referring to your viral load? If you are referring to your viral load, that will fluctuate on a daily basis, and there is no correlation between viral load and amount of liver damage or rate of liver damage.
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