Alternate Names : Viral Hepatitis
What are the treatments for the disease?
Treatment of hepatitis varies
according to the type and severity of the disease, but may include:
drinking extra fluids to prevent
avoiding unnecessary medications
eating a well balanced diet for liver
Further treatment will depend on the type of hepatitis and the extent
of the infection. For example, treating
hepatitis B, C, and D may involve the use of medications such as
the antiviral medication alpha interferon. Other medications may include
ribavirin, lamivudine, steroids, and antibiotics.
Acute fulminant hepatitis can cause life-threatening liver failure. This
requires a hospital stay and treatment for the bleeding disorder and for neurological
and nutritional problems. Sometimes the only effective treatment is a liver transplant.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
effects will depend on the treatments used. Side effects of
interferon include a flu-like illness, with
fever and body aches.
Liver transplant can cause many
problems, including failure or rejection of the new liver. After a liver
transplant, a person will need to take powerful antirejection medications for
the rest of his or her life. Side effects of these medications increase the
risk for infections, certain
cancers, and other problems.
What happens after treatment for the disease?
What occurs after
treatment will depend on the type of hepatitis and the response to
treatment. For example, with hepatitis A
and hepatitis E, people will
not usually need medication after the disease has been resolved. They can return to a
normal lifestyle when symptoms are gone even if they still have some
A person with hepatitis B, C, and
D will be monitored for side effects and benefits during and after
interferon treatment. Alpha interferon treatment might be repeated if the
disease flares up again.
A person who has received a liver transplant
is checked for viral hepatitis,as well as for function of the new liver.
How is the disease monitored?
Monitoring of hepatitis will
depend on the type of hepatitis. Periodic visits to the healthcare
provider and liver function tests will
be used to monitor the hepatitis and to see how the liver is working. The
status of the liver may require repeated
liver biopsies. Decisions for further treatment or liver transplantation are frequently made based on these
tests. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare