It depends on the treatment you qualify for based on your individual condition. What for you is the best course of therapy based on the condition of your liver and your Genotype.
For example if you have progressed to cirrhosis the treatment protocol would be different then if your liver is still healthy. Also your doctor will need to determine your genotype to see what would be the best medicine for you.
Treatment with the older standard of care (SOC) using one shot a week of interferon (sometimes called peginterferon) and ribavirin can be difficult for many. The doctors like to say "flu like symptoms" which means at best feeling like you have the flu for 48 weeks.
However there are newer treatments available now or are coming soon that may not require you to use interferon depending on your genotype of the Hep C virus which may also have shorter lengths of treatment.
Many of us here, including me, are taking the new medicines Sovaldi together with Olysio without interferon. This is an off label use and you have to qualify based on you status with your insurance to be treated with this combination of medicines. With these medications most of us have experience little to no side effects.
And of course you need to have your doctor prescribe whatever meds you end up getting to know what kind of side effects you might have.
Everyone responds differently, I am not sure what determines why some people have more Sx then others. I am taking the triple Tx (Sovaldi, Pegasus, Ribavirin), I am on week 8 of 12, and it hasn't been bad for me other than some anemia and rash at the beginning. My doctor adjusted my Ribavirin dosage after 2 weeks and so the anemia and rash has gone away. My advise would be to try to get as healthy as possible before starting treatment, I worked out for 3 months (after I found out I had HepC) and lost 20 lbs, and really cleaned up my diet (which wasn't bad before). Get your support system set up before starting. There really are treatments right on the horizon—this year—that won't have the Pegasus (Interferon). Remember that the treatments now are a lot shorter then they used to be. Educate yourself as much as possible, there are some people on this forum who have a lot of information I am sure they will share with you. Good luck and let us know how it goes for you. My attitude going in was that the Tx can't be as bad as the disease.
I couldn't agree more with your answer especially your last remark "Tx can't be as bad as the disease"
I would do anything to get rid of this darn virus. Null responder to TX 3 times with interferon and would do it 100 times again if necessary.
I am hoping this treatment does the trick and I will be done with this lousy, gol dang, Hep C virus once and for all!
I hope your treatment goes great with limited sides and we can both join the hep c free club
To your health! Salut!
Thanks Lynn, my 6 month post Tx should be Nov 1st, if I am UND, then I will breathe a huge sigh of relief. This is my first time treatment, hopefully my last.
I thought it bad to go thru 2 treatments of interferon/riba. Don't you mean dern virus :) Can't wait to hear you say WOOOO HOOOO SVR
Hi. I'm in Australia so perhaps I can give you more relevant information with regards to new drugs and their availability here.
The new drugs people in this forum talk about, such as Olysio and Sovaldi, are not available here in Australia yet. We are about 12-18 months behind the US when it comes to treatment drugs, and will need to see if these will be approved by the PBS.
You state that you have an enlarged liver, but no scarring. If your Hepatologist is in agreement, then you CAN wait for the new drugs. You may still have to take a combination with Interferon and/or Ribavirin, but the duration of treatment is then 12 or 24 weeks, as opposed to 24 -48 weeks, and the SVR rate is improved with these new drugs.
You say the information regarding the state of your liver has come from fibro optic scans. If you have no cirrhosis, then yes, I think you can and should wait for these new drugs.
Of course, stop drinking alcohol, try to give up smoking, eat a liver friendly diet, and only take supplements if your body really needs them. We should all be able to get what we need from eating well.
It is easy to get stressed from reading other's reports of side effects and sickness from these drugs. I myself have had an awful time. But, at the end of the day, eradicating this virus is what you want to do, and there is no good reason why it should be a walk in the park, but so saying, there is no reason anymore why it should be a horror ride.
I don't know why some people get sicker than others. I never had a diet of fried food, meat, take away etc. But I was sick through treatment.
So saying, these new drugs and shorter treating times are really changing the face and the stories of those involved.