Hepatitis C: Post Treatment Issues Community
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4226456 tn?1354123528

Post Triple Therapy Side Effects: Joint Pain/Stiffness

Finished triple therapy Jan 28, 13. (early) due to side effects and now I am experiencing joint pain, stiffnes that
started a couple months after treatment.  
When I sit for any period of time, my hips are so stiff and my feet are stiff too. My feet feel like they can't hold me up. Ambulation is not so easy. After a few moments of being up on my feet and walking the discomfort and stiffness goes away.  I am also experiencing wrist pain, carpel tunnel type symptoms in one hand that I dont use much for writing or anything.  Wakes me up at night.  I am not over weight and I am very active.  I don't understand what is going on.  I was checked for autoimmun diseases and that was negative.  My hep doctor denies any knowledge of such side effects post treatment and tells me this is what happens when we age.  No way. No Way!  I have worked out my whole life and am very active, before treatment I did kick boxing, zumba, weight lifting, pilates and yoga. No I can't do those things yet to the degree that I was before, but I am working on getting my strength and endurance back.  I understand it take time, but...
Is any one else experiencing joint problems after treatment?  What have you done to treat and did you get back to normal?  I started taking  supplemts: glucosamine, chrondroitin and msm to try and help but not so far.  Triple therapy turned my body inside out and although I am feeling much better then I did when I was on treatment, these side effects are new to my body.  I feel like an 80 year old instead of an active 50 something..  Thank you for any advice or sharing of your post treatment new side effects.
72 Responses
Avatar universal
It really does take time and if you were once an active person I am sure you feel impatient.
I believe my joint pain which was severe was a result of HCV. However, I felt so bad during treatment I was barely mobile which I believe worsened my condition.
I have  found gentle or restorative yoga to be helpful. My joints had hurt so bad I as afraid to exercise them for a long time. I began to swim and when I found the movement to be pain free, it gave me the confidence to try the yoga moves. It is helping.
Like I have been told countless times, be patient and just stay with it, when you find the that exercises work for you.
I believe in time you will improve.

I wish you all the best.
Avatar universal
hi my hubby just finished triple tx but about 3yrs before he suffered pain in joints tingling in hands and feet pain in wrists just like carpel tunnel which i myself have had 2 ops for. Anyway they ran some tests and it turned out to be peripheral neuropathy. A furtur blood test told us he also had hepc geno type 1a. His liver was in good condition and the hep doc told us that the triple tx can actually cause peripheral but in hubbys case it can stop it from getting any worse and that is why he agreed to go ahead with hep tx since finishing tx the sx of perpheral seems to have lessoned, so it might be worth having a blood test to see if it could be neuropathy. Good luck and please lets us know. Jules
4226456 tn?1354123528
Thank you for the information.  If this doesn't get better, I will ask for this test.  I think chemo can tear our bodies apart and allow anything to occur new.  I am hoping it isn't. My symptoms occured after triple therapy, so I am thinking chemo was a variable that led to or caused these symptoms.  My muscle fibers ache sometimes too.  Thank you for responding!
1840891 tn?1431551393
I'm so sorry to hear of this new problem for you. My own joint pain came up way before tx and seemed to be autoimmune triggered by the virus. Yours is quite a different story, but it is one that we hear occasionally on this forum. It does seem that a very small number of people have joint problems that are triggered by the interferon use. It is controversial, and many doctors do not "believe in it", but it does come up often enough that it seems to be in the category of uncommon side effects.

As for treatments I would suggest trying to find a good rheumatologist (there aren't that many good ones), and seeing what they can recommend. If it is a couple of joints, then steroid shots might help, but that's not helpful if it is more diffuse or widespread. The autoimmune diseases are notoriously hard to diagnose and the tests for them are not very good. As my internist recently explained to me - there are no straightforward tests to confirm or deny autoimmune disorders. The diagnosis always depends on a complex interpretation of multiple tests and physical exam results. Many cases require a very knowledgeable and perceptive specialist, and frequently different doctors will arrive at different conclusions for the diagnosis. Occasionally the diagnosis is so difficult that it is made after observing responses to different trials of medications. There are a large range of meds available for different autoimmune disorders, and some of them are innocuous enough to try even if you don't know what the problem is. One such drug is "Limbrel", which is technically not a drug at all but a medical food, tested to FDA standards and patented for its anti- inflammatory properties. I find it helpful and have taken it for the last six years, although I wish it was about 8 times more effective. Another fairly mild drug I use is Plaquenil. Anything you take for the joint problems should be approved by your hepatologist first. The primary arsenals of rheumatologists are all in the category of NSAIDs, and people with liver problems have to avoid all of those, so we are immediately frustrating to the rheumatologists, but they do have some other things left to turn to. Good luck!
766573 tn?1365170066
In my case as far as my hands go I just figure all the over training and not stretching and repetitive motion activities snowballed. If you rule out all other causes and you still have some of these problems then you may have to learn how to manage the symptoms.

I wear something on my hand for sleep support when I go to bed

It protects my hands when I get in certain sleep positions.
Here is a video related to certain sleep positions:


Here are the videos that have been helping me
Ulnar nerve flossing:

I learned so many new stretches and exercises that I now do on a daily basis. This may not be what is wrong with you but the point I am trying to make is there is info out there so you do not have to live with pain and discomfort. I have learned a lot since EOT since I was just having TOO many problems. I figured it is timing and age and all the factors together since I felt like a broken doll.

I hope you find answers and feel better.
4226456 tn?1354123528
Ceanothus great to hear from you again.  Your responce was the best (very hard to choose between you and Idyllic) but somehow it automatically came up rivll (sorry rivll) and when I tried to change it to you, it confirmed for rivll..  Your advice is sound.  
Idyllic great to hear again from you too.  I appreciate the sites to check on and am going to look into a wrist support device.  I am awake most nights with the tingling and pain in my hand so the sleep positions will come in handy.
rivll thank you.  I am noted for impatience in my recovery.  It has only been a little over 3 months and I expect more from my body then I probably should.  It is not easy.  My husband & friends don't understand I am not back full swing although I finally look healthy on the outside again.  My forgetfullness is unbelievable and I can't find words at times.  Embarassing to say the least.  
I am trying to get back into yoga, exercising and swimming.
Thank you all for your wonderful advice and it is a reminder to me how awesome this site is because of all of you!
Wishing you all good health & healing too.
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