|How To Proceed.
Dec 21, 2011
Hello Dr. McGovern, I am a 40 yrs old male who has been living with hepB knowingly for past 10 years and probably for a lot more years unknowingly. I was diagnosed in 2001 with hepB+ and I was also e+. In 2009 my doctor put me on Viread and I turned undetectable in about 3 month and my e+ become e- in at the same time. I have been taking viread ever since and my doctor is suggesting for me to contiue taking viread for a duration of 4years. His reasons are that new studies from europe have shown 10% of patients taking viread may lose surface antigen to the virus. In advice on how to proceed. I am trying to get a Masters in Public Health and I have been admitted to a very good college for it. Do you think is a good idea for me to go for this degree at my age and with HepB? My last lab results were all negative including an MRI of the liver. Thanks.
| Response from Dr. McGovern
Your doctor knows you much better than I do. He may want to treat you longer to accomplish something few patients attain - loss of hepatitis B surface antigen, which would be great.
Most patients continue therapy for about a year after seroconversion (defined as when your HBeAg is lost and you gain hepatitis B E antibody).
The benefit of long term therapy in terms of loss of surface antigen only occurs in a small percentage of people. The downside to long-term therapy with Viread is the small risk of renal insufficiency (kidney problems) which usually reverses when the treatment is discontinued.
I would continue more conversation with your doctor, since the answer is not black and white. Hope this helps.
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