About Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a contagious viral liver disease. It ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness that becomes chronic liver disease.

Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Rash
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movement
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

Who’s at Risk for Hep C?

  • Injection Drug Users (current or past)
  • Individuals receiving blood products before 1987
  • Individuals inhaling cocaine
  • Individuals with tattoos or piercings
  • Healthcare workers
  • Dialysis patients in long-term treatment
  • HIV positive patients
  • Newborns with HCV infected mothers
  • Individuals engaging in high-risk and unprotected sexual activities
  • Individuals sharing toothbrushes or razors with infected people

Who should be screened for Hep C?

  • Baby boomers born between 1945-1965
  • Current or former injection drug users
  • Individuals receiving blood products before July 1992
  • Individuals who obtain abnormal liver tests or liver disease
  • Healthcare workers exposed to blood
  • HIV infected patients

Testing

HCV is diagnosed with a simple blood screening which checks for antibodies in the patient’s blood. If the screening is positive, a more detailed blood test is done to check for the virus in your blood.

Treatment

Several medications are available to treat Hep C. Most of these medications have over a 97% cure rate.

Hep C treatment options

  • Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir)

    Indicated for the treatment of adults with chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1,4,5 or 6 infections without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis.

    Overall cure rate for genotype 1 patients is 97%

    Duration: Treatment Naïve with viral load < 6 million is 1 pill daily for 8 weeks

    Side effects: > 10% fatigue, headache

  • Epclusa (sofosbuvir/velpatasavir)

    Indicated for the treatment of adults with chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1,2,3,4,5 or 6 infections without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis.

    Overall cure rate for across all genotypes is 98%

    99% overall cure rate for genotype 2

    95% overall cure rate for genotype 3

    Duration: 1 pill daily for 12 weeks

    Side effects: > 10% fatigue, headache

  • Mavyret (glecaprevir/pibrentasvir)

    Indicated for the treatment of adults with chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1,2,3,4,5 or 6 infections without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis.

    Overall cure rate for across all genotypes is 98% .

    Duration: Treatment Naïve without cirrhosis is 3 pills once a day with food for 8 weeks

    Overall cure rate for genotype 1 is 94-97%

  • Zepetier (elbasvir/grazoprevir)

    Indicated for the treatment of adults with chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1 or 4 infections without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis.

    Overall cure rate for genotype 1 is 94-97%

    Overall cure rate for genotype 4 is 97-100%

    Duration: 1 pill once daily for 12-16 weeks; May need additional medicine- ribavirin

    Side effects: > 10% fatigue, headache

  • Vosevi (sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir)

    Indicated for the treatment of adult patients with HCV infection without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis (Child Pugh A) who have:

    •GT 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 infection and have previously been treated with an HCV regimen containing NS5A inhibitor

    •GT 1a or 3 infection and have previously been treated with an HCV regimen containing sofosbuvir without an NS5A inhibitor

    96% Overall cure rate all genotypes

    Duration: 1 pill daily for 12 weeks

    Side effects: > 10% fatigue, headache

Prevention

  • Never share needles, syringes, or drug equipment
  • Always find a professional tattoo or piercing artist using universal Precautions
  • Never share toothbrushes, razors, or personal items