What You Need to Know about Taking Hepatitis C Drugs in Hopes of Curing Yourself

by Brent Woods

Hepatitis C used to be a death sentence, but, in the past several years, it's turned into a disease that, while difficult to treat, is treatable. You have to be aware of what goes into the treatment, as the side effects can be unwelcome. Do not let any of this put you off getting treatment, though; if you let the hepatitis C run rampant, you'll only end up with worse pain and more medical bills. It's much better to start getting treatment now.

It's Possible

Yes, it is possible to cure hepatitis C. There are varying treatments (all medications, but in different combinations) that work differently for different people, so it's crucial that you have the treatment monitored by a specialist. For example, the combination of telaprevir and boceprevir works on only one variant of the disease called genotype 1. If you don't have that variant, the combination wouldn't work for you.

Note that, even with the best attempt to take the medicine and cure the disease, there are going to be people who just don't respond to treatments. But the overwhelming majority of people who seek treatment have an excellent chance of being cured if they find the right medications and take them properly.

It's Expensive

The drugs needed for the treatments can cost into the tens of thousands of dollars -- for just one drug. Given that treatments generally call for taking drugs in combination, that's an expensive cure. Your doctor needs to ensure that your insurance company, if you haven't been going uninsured, will cover the majority of that cost.

It's Got Side Effects

You'll likely feel like you have the flu, anemia, or some other life-bludgeoning illness while you take the medications. Power through it; the side effects are temporary, as bad as they seem.

It's Something You Have to Do Consistently

Take the medications on time and as directed without fail. It is possible for the hepatitis C virus to become resistant to the treatments. Don't let that happen to you by skipping doses or stopping treatment early. Just because you begin to feel good early does not mean you're cured. Finish the whole course of treatment.

You will get through this. Even if the worst happens and you don't respond to the medication, at least you tried, and you can move on to other treatments that are discovered over time. But chances are you'll eventually be well again.