Treatments for hepatitis C have become more effective. There is currently a form of drug therapy available that can clear the virus, on average, in more than half of those treated. Success rates can be higher depending on the type of hepatitis C virus that you have. Watch our video to find out more:
The drug therapy
The two drugs used for treatment of hepatitis C are called pegylated interferon and ribavirin. You will either receive these two drugs together or pegylated interferon alone. Treatment usually lasts for six or 12 months.
Your specialist will discuss with you what treatment is available and whether it is appropriate for you. For example, treatment may not be appropriate for people with some pre-existing medical conditions or pregnant women.
What are the side effects?
The two drugs used to treat hepatitis C can have a number of side effects that can be significant. However, these may not affect everyone in the same way or to the same degree.
The most common side effects are tiredness, headaches, aches and pains and nausea. Others may include anaemia, depression, itching and skin rashes.
Side effects are usually worse at the beginning of the treatment. They should become less severe as your body becomes used to the drugs. Your specialist doctor or nurse will be able to help you manage your side effects.
If you're offered treatment, you will be able to ask your specialist anything you’re not sure about.