Avatar universal

Treatments in Canada

I'm just curious if there is anyone from Canada that has been accepted for Triple Therapy Treatment?  I'm in British Columbia and I have to meet the treatment critieria before the Canadian government will fund treatment for me.  So, the one thing holding me back is that I have to meet the enzyme criteria of having to have 3 lab tests of  enzymes that are 1.5 times higher than normal.  The problem is that most of my enzymes are in the normal range.  The doctors don't know why the government requests this because I meet the critieria of having 0 - 1 fibrosis, I've had this disease for approx. 17 years.  I probably would be able to cure this now.  I'm also a 49 year old female.  

So now, I have to try and find ways to elevate my enzymes in a safe manner other than alcohol.  My specialist said I could test when I have a cold and if I work out heavy at the gym, to do all the large muscle groups.  

I was just wondering if anyone would know how to elevate enzymes without ending up in the hospital.  I find this criteria really stupid and I'm very symptomatic and feel really horrible these days.  I guess if I had my way, I would rather do other treatments that are less damaging to the body.  Also, when a treatment gets approved in the States, it takes some time for it to be approved in Canada as we are behind the U.S.
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Avatar universal
Hi Corky

I am assuming that the criteria for 1.5x normal enzyme levels (AST/ALT) is for the costs to be covered by public health insurance?  If so, could you not get a prescription and pay out of your own pocket, bypassing the health coverage?   Your other option is to treat in the united states, or get into a clinical trial that looks promising. A nucleoside NS5B along with an NS5A or protease inhibitor have given very promising results with SVR as high as 100% in studies.

I would like to point out that in general, the normally accepted "healthy range" for liver enzymes ALT and AST are probably a little high themselves.  I know of a few people who have dropped to the mid teens in these values when treating, but when off treatment they are in the 40's, a value that falls inside the "normal range" but is obviously about 3 times higher than what the patient (much higher than the 1.5x criteria) would be at if they were healthy.  

The 1.5 x criteria is a crutch the canadian health system is using to limit treatment to those who need it. Period.
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3230925 tn?1397615965
  I am 49 years old, premenopausal, genotype 1a.

Why did you mention that premenopausal isn't a good time to do treatment?


Actually according to some studies->

Premenopausal women & hep c

This is a discussion on Premenopausal women & hep c within the Health, Medicine and Natural Healing 00 section of the RemedySpot.com forums.

http://hivandhepatitis.com/hepc/c12179903.html Pre-Menopausal Women Have Better Response Rate to Alfa Interferon for Chronic Hepatitis C Response rate is higher than for either men or post-menopausal women, suggesting a beneficial role for estrogen in the response to therapy by Harvey S. Bartnof, MD


  Your doctor as a good point in saying that most people with HCV are asymptomatic,symptoms will only appear at end stage 4 of a decompensated liver.But for some and very rarely symptoms can appear before that and it is nothing severe and not life threatening.Most common symptoms would be itchy skin,insomnia,irritability,fatigue,environmental allergies,foggy brain,light memory problems.Someone with severe fibrosis which is not your not your case might develop diebetes,renal problems,lung problems.

  I am no doctor but I believe the symptoms you are describing are prolly not HCV related except for depression which is higher in people with HCV than the general population.This is due to the fact according to studies done 90% of people with HCV lack vitamin D3.You live in the Okanagan valley,summer is around bend get out and get some rays to get some vitamin D3,get yourself tested to see all your vitamin levels and take what is needed.

   Some of the reasons your doctor doesn't want to put you on treatment is your neuropathy,depression,panic attacks.All the current
treatments include alfa interferon and some of the side effects of drug is neuropathic,depression ect..going on the treatment would be very risky for you and would make your symptoms worst.You're at stage 0-1 it is a better gamble to wait for the all oral treatments coming in a couple years.
in couple years.

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Weekends are usually slow on the forum. You will get more replies to your questions within the next few days.
I do want to confirm for you that HCV does indeed affect other systems of the body, though not everyone experiences them.
There are a number of links, just go to search and type in extraheapatic manifestations. Then send those links to your Doc! :)
Here is one of many.

Good luck to you.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks for your response.  I live in Penticton, B.C.  I am 49 years old, premenopausal, genotype 1a.  I see a Hep C specialist in Kelowna who only believes that most people with Hep C are asymptomatic.  I believe I'm very symptomatic and I started off as symptomatic when I contracted this disease.  There was a huge change in my body as I was totally healthy before all of this.  Why did you mention that premenopausal isn't a good time to do treatment?  Is it about the hormones that are governed by the liver?  I have every symptom imagineable and I'm experiencing very painful neuropathy now and getting treated for it.  I have more sick days than good days now.  I just started on anti-depressants and waiting for those to kick in.  

I need my specialist to circumvent the rules of the government.  I really have to push him to help me cause I am suffering and starting to have panic attacks because my symptoms are intolerable.  I would like to wait for the next treatment for genotype 1a here in B.C. but that could be 3 years from now, so I have heard.  I'm getting more and more disabled and losing patience as I can hardly function at times.  I know triple therapy is pretty brutal but I'm very sick anyways.  

Do you have any ideas?
Helpful - 0
3230925 tn?1397615965
  Where are you located in BC?
Are you seeing a specialist such as a GI or hepatologist ?
What genotype are you?

Yes in BC  they do the triple therapy for the genotype1 If your a G2 or G3 your best be is the SOC treatment.

I know the BC ministry of health have some odd ball criterias,I've been through it all.If you have a good specialist and his team they can always  push the envelope at the ministry,there is always ways to circumvent the rules.

I wouldn't worry about getting sick if you get high liver enzymes,it won't change at all the current state of your health.

I live in Vancouver and treated from the LAIR center in Vancouver last year for 24 weeks on SOC,I was a genotype 3 and now I'm cured.In group the week I started I was the only G3 and the only one doing the  SOC,the rest of the group were genotype 1 and going triple therapy,some were former relapsers and some were treatment  naive.

   You got the right attitude in wanting to do treatment and getting rid of this  before liver damage progresses further,the only draw back I would see is your pre menopausal or starting menopause it wouldn't be a great time to start treatment.

Best wishes


Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
As far as increasing ALT, AST...

take a look  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2291230/

Best wishes.
Helpful - 0
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