Hepatitis C – There is a CURE!!! 10/12/15

Hepatitis-C-by-the-numbers-600x403The above image was taken from http://mylocalhealthguide.com/

What is Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C or “Hep C” is a liver disease that is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C infections can either be:

  • Acute: A short – term viral infection typically lasting only a few months. In many cases there are no symptoms with acute hepatitis c and if they are – the symptoms of fatigue and vomiting are very mild. Acute Hepatitis C often times improves or even resolves without treatment
  • Chronic: 75 – 85% of acute Hepatitis C cases become chronic. Chronic Hepatitis C can result in long-term liver problems such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. It is the number one cause of liver transplants and right now Hepatitis C kills more Americans than HIV.   Chronic Hepatitis C has a very slow progression with most people experiencing NO symptoms for as long as the first 20 years.
  • Hepatitis C is spread through direct contact with infected blood or bodily fluids like semen.   Hepatitis C can NOT be spread by social contact such as hugging, kissing, or holding hands. Hepatitis C is also NOT spread by sharing eating utensils, glassware, sneezing, or coughing.

 

 

Those at the highest risk for Hepatitis C infection are:

  • IV drug users

  • Incarcerated individuals

  • Hemodialysis patients

  • People with high risk sexual behavior

Am I alone?

NO! It is estimated that about 3.9 million Americans have chronic Hepatitis C with the highest amount being the “baby – boomer” generation – those people born between 1945 – 1965.   If you were born between 1945 – 1965, YOU SHOULD BE SCREENED FOR HEPATITIS C.

While untreated Hepatitis C can have deadly consequences There is GOOD NEWS!!!

Over the past few years new medications have been approved to CURE Hepatitis C. Tha’s right – a CURE!! The goal of the new therapy is to rid your body of the Hepatitis C Virus and help you obtain a sustained virologic response, CURE!!!

Some of the new medications used to treat Hepatitis C include:

  • Harvoni

  • Viekera Pack

  • Solvodi

  • Olysio

The medication ribovarin may or may not be used depending on your type of Hepatitis C, whether you have been treated before, and the status of your liver.

Daily injections of interferon which had numerous side effects typically are no longer recommended.  New newer medications are much more effective and have much less side effects.

Now, some of you may have heard these medications are insanely expensive, and if you heard this…then I am here to tell you that you are correct.

Harvoni, one of the more popular medications in this new class of drugs costs anywhere from $90,000 – $120 ,000 for treatment. While that seems like a lot of money (and it is) remember the costs of not CURING Hepatitis C.

Remember untreated Hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure. All of these conditions easily cost over $90,000 per year for the rest of your life!!! Curing Hepatitis C, even if expensive initially is a lot cheaper over time.

Do NOT let the prices that I mentioned stop you from seeking treatment. There are a lot of grants and programs for people who cannot afford the Hepatitis C medications. In fact at Scott’s Pharmacy the majority of the patients who get their therapy from us pay NOTHING for their Hepatitis C treatment.

Hepatitis C can be diagnosed with a simple blood test at your physician’s office. If you fall into either of the categories above that put you at risk for Hepatitis C or you have been diagnosed but you failed previous therapy, give us call at 478-742-3098.

Scott’s Pharmacy we want to help you get cured!!!


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