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Hep B - on Viread for 3 years
Apr 20, 2013

My mother, 72, born in Taiwan, was diagnosed with Chronic Hep B. She's been infected pretty much all her life and never saw a doctor until recently. She is quite healthy for her age - she just in the past year got on meds for cholesterol, diabetes and high bp.

Her doctor did a liver biopsy, tests, etc and recommended her to start treatment - Viread. She's been on it for 3 years and my mom fears being on meds for the rest of her life. The meds are "working" - her viral load is undetected now.

I asked the doctor about taking the meds every other day, and he said that'd be pointless. He said either take it daily or just stop the meds.

I read that some patients with unhealthy liver take Viread less frequently (so there must be some effect), but my doctor said if you're going to take it every other day, then there's no point.

Do you agree? Is there any harm in taking it every other day and then do tests? Or could that even cause a flare?

Thank you for your time in answering all these questions.

Response from Dr. Taylor

I agree 100% with your Mother's doctor. The benefits of her medication far outweigh any risks.

It is NOT healthy to take this medication every other day, unless your Mother's doctor recommends this based on your Mother having kidney disease.

Many people have to take this medication for life. It is safer than getting liver cancer or having the liver fail. The main small risk is to the kidneys, and these should be monitored with blood and urine tests.

Yes taking the medication every other day could lead to a flare, and ineffective treatment.



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