Not sure whether to get treatment?

There are many things to consider before starting on Hepatitis C treatment. Your healthcare professional will have an in depth discussion with you about when you may want to start treatment, which treatment you will get; whilst also considering your life circumstances and general health in making any final decision.

I was lucky, I didn't have any nasty side effects... I was OK, I seemed to manage.

Patient, NHS Grampian


Benefits of Hepatitis C treatment

There are many benefits to Hepatitis C treatment. Hepatitis C is a serious chronic condition which can damage your liver and in some cases cause cirrhosis, liver cancer or death. Hepatitis C can also cause or worsen other health problems.

Hepatitis C is also a very infectious disease which can be passed on through blood to blood contact. It can live outside the body for up to 6 weeks and even a tiny speck of blood can be infectious.

Being treated for Hepatitis C means that you can clear the virus from your system and that you will no longer be infected. Damage that has been caused to your liver by the virus may be reversed making you more healthy and reducing your chances of developing other related health conditions. Once you have cleared the virus from your system means you can no longer infect other people.

Treatment for Hepatitis C is improving all the time, with new drugs meaning it is significantly more effective, shorter in duration, and involves far fewer side effects than older treatment regimes. A large proportion of people are now able to be treated without having to take interferon injections, which was often the key cause of adverse side effects.


Depending on how Hepatitis C is affecting your body, and on other factors including your genotype, the treatments you are prescribed and how long for will vary. Rapid advances in Hepatitis C therapeutics have led to an array of drugs that now offer cure to more than 90% of those infected.

Treatment usually lasts between 8 to 12 weeks although certain genotypes may require 16 to 24 weeks of treatment. All oral combinations of drugs are now routinely prescribed for treatment although, depending on the genotype of Hepatitis C, some treatments still include pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Side effects are usually related to interferon and ribavirin, and can be both mental and physical and range from mild to severe. For these reasons your healthcare professional will discuss your general life circumstances with you before you come to a decision on whether to start treatment. This will allow you to make an informed decision on whether to begin treatment.

Whilst you are able to choose whether to begin Hepatitis C treatment, in some cases you may have to begin treatment as soon as possible if the virus has already caused moderate/severe liver damage.

Hepatitis C Scotland

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