Several new medications for hepatitis C have been approved over the last few years. These medications are more effective, have far fewer side effects, and require less time to work than older hepatitis C drugs.
There are many factors your doctor considers when deciding what treatment is best for you. These include:
- The amount of virus in your body (your viral load)
- The strain of virus you have (also called the genotype)
- The degree of liver damage
- Your general health and/or other health conditions
- How you’ve responded to any treatment you may have received in the past
Medications used to treat hepatitis C work to clear the virus from your body. Your doctor may prescribe one medication, or a combination of two or three. Treatment may last anywhere from 8 to 24 weeks. Your doctor will monitor your progress with blood tests throughout your course of treatment.
New medications make treatment easier.
Until a few years ago, only a few medications were available to treat hepatitis C. These medications were most often used in combination and some had significant side effects that caused many patients to stop therapy. Several of these medications were taken by injection.
Newer medications work by attacking the virus directly and interfering with its ability to multiply. Because most of these medications are taken once per day in pill form, it is easier to stay on track with treatment.
If you have any questions about your medication, or have concerns about side effects, talk to your doctor or call your CVS Specialty CareTeam. Your CareTeam can also help locate potential financial assistance resources if you’re having difficulty paying for your medication.