|hepatitis B therapy
Feb 17, 2014
Is there any drugs for cronic hepatitics b?
| Response from Dr. Taylor
Yes there are a number of medications for chronic hepatitis B.
First, there are pills. These are effective and safe overall. They are processed in our bodies by our kidneys, so dosing and selecting a medication may vary depending on our kidney's health. The pills are all in the same family. They vary in a number of ways, including cost; accessibilty in various parts of the world; how quickly they get our hep B DNA viral load down to non-detectable; whether or not they are also active against HIV; whether they are active against lamivudine-resistant hep B; whether it is easy or hard to develop resistance against them. Developing resistance means that the hep B virus can no longer be suppressed by the medication.
It is important to be tested for HIV before starting hep B pills as having HIV infection also impacts management of both infections, and some of the ways we can catch hep B could have put us at risk for HIV.
The other option is interferon -- standard (given several times weekly) and pegylated (given once per week). Interferon is given by a tiny injection right under our skin.
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