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Treatment with Hepsera
Nov 6, 2005

Just want to ensure from your standpoint what I should expect from a treatment plan standpoint...

I have chronic Hep B. My last lab indicated a HBV DNA level of 237,000 cp/mL, which prompted my Dr. to have me get treated by a GE specialist. The GE prescribed Hepsera, which I've been on for almost 2 months. He had me get checked for kidney and liver function tests 1 month after, which came back normal for both tests and is having me do another one after this 2nd month. These are tests to ensure I'm handling the medication well and to proceed. Is there anything else I should expect soon like another full series of tests, like DNA? And how long I should be taking the med (I read 1 year in internet research), but he just says I'll be "on it for a while." Thanks.

Response from Dr. McGovern

I would check your hepatitis B DNA level in three months after starting treatment to see how you are responding.

People with e antigen positive infection may be treated for one year; however, if you get a "seroconversion" towards the end of treatment, most hepatologists will treat for an additional six months after that important event. If you have e antigen negative infection, treatment may need to be chronic, since most ofthese patients relapse when they come off treatment.

You will need to discuss whether you are a e antigen positive or e antigen negative patient with your physician. Also if your DNA level is not responding after 3 months, you may want to discuss other treatment options.

Dr. M



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