Side Effects Of Hepatitis C treatment / medicines
Hepatitis C is neither permanent nor fatal. If the right line of treatment if followed at the right time, you can have a good control over this health condition which is also important to be done as Hepatitis C can cause life altering damages to your liver if the disease is prolonged and unattended.
There have been tremendous changes in the treatment given to Hepatitis C patients. From the earlier treatment that was done with Ribavirin and Interferon, newer drugs like Boceprevir and Telaprevir came into picture. Things further changed drastically when Simeprevir and Sofosbuvir were introduced and approved by FDA in 2014. This not only significantly reduced the curing time and rate but also abridged the side effects, reactions and contraindications. Common side effects such as fever, weakness, depression and chills were difficult to avoid have now become a thing of the past as interferon is not an essential prescription any more.
There are newer medication combinations that can cure the patients in lesser time and with fewer side effects as such as Ledipasvir and sofosbuvir known as Harvoni, and ombitasvir, ritonavir, paritaprevir and dasabuvir in the form of Viekira Pak. There is another recent invention that can be taken as a single pill daily treatment which has made treatment of Hepatitis C really easy. It is Elbasvir and Grazoprevir that is available under the brand name Zepatier.
Let’s take a look at the Common Side Effects of popular Hepatitis C medicines:
Harvoni is a popular medicine for Hepatitis C and has minimal side effects. Some of them to mention are headache, weakness and nausea.
Incivek can cause side effects such as skin rashes, itching and irritation, drop in blood cell count, nausea and hemorrhoids diarrhea accompanied by abdominal cramps, fatigue and loss in energy level.
Interferon is the most talked about medicine and for all the wrongreasons. Severe side effects include fatigue, headache, muscle pains, chills, pain in joints and back, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain and gastrointestinal, depression, insomnia, drop in blood cell counts among many others.
Olysio with interferon and ribavirin
this can be a very troubling combination that can cause skin rashes and photosensitivity, itching and irritation, nausea and muscle cramps.
Ribavirin is not a commonly prescribed medicine for Hepatitis C anymore as it can cause flu-like side effects along with low blood cell count and gastrointestinal. It can also cause insomnia and depression in some cases.
Victrelis can cause body fatigue, weakness, loss of energy and chills in the body along with gastrointestinal, hair loss, lowered blood cell count and sleep disorders too.
Solvadi with interferon and ribavirin
This combination can cause Flu-like symptoms, vomiting, Insomnia, Lowered red blood cell count and skin rashes and itching.
Solvadi with ribavirin
Side effects are less severe in this combination, but still include fatigue, headache, sickness, sleeplessness, itch and reduced red blood cell count.
Viekira Pack with Ombitasvir, Paritaprevir, Dasabuvir and Ritonavir
This combination can cause parts of side effects such as weariness, vomiting, itch, Skin irritation, sleeplessness, low energy and liver damage.
Zepatier can cause weakness, Skin reactions, Headache, Low red blood cell count, vomiting, metallic taste, diarrhea, gloominess, Joint pain and breathlessness.
Dealing With Side Effects and Interactions
Hepatitis C medication cannot be avoided as there is no alternate line of treatment. However, you can do the following to be able to deal with side effects better and avoid them.
You can avoid fever after interferon if you take Tylenol half an hour before interferon. Also prefer taking your interferon shot at bedtime. Talk to your health advisor about it.
If your medicine is causing gastrointestinal, stomach disorders, diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pains, eat smaller portions of food and consume only fresh and healthy diet. Avoid spicy, fried and fast food. Take your medicine with your meals.
If you think your medicine is causing depression, talk to your doctor about it. Regular exercises and walking, yoga and meditation can also help to keep you relaxed. If things get worse, get antidepressant prescribed from your doctor.
If you are developing skin irritation, rashes or itching, start using moisturizing soaps and lotions. Avoid swimming and hot baths as it tends to dehydrate the skin.
If you face hair fall or hair loss, use herbal and mild shampoo and avoid hair treatments and chemicals.
If you face any problems such as metallic taste, dry mouth or mouth sores, try lemon candies and mouth fresheners. Also keep yourself hydrated.
Sometimes it can get difficult, but you have to put up with these side effects in order to get completely cured from Hepatitis C. please continue with your treatment and try to avoid, prevent and ignore the side effects but keep your doctor updated about the side effects you are facing.