Treating Your Hepatitis C

"Today’s pills have double the viral cure rates—90% to 100%—in just in 12 weeks’ time. Reducing the treatment from a year to three months is a huge advantage for people with hepatitis C, especially because it’s easier to swallow a pill than to get an injection." - Jeffrey S. Murray, M.D., Deputy Director of the Division of Antiviral Products, FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

These are the important steps of your treatment:

  1. We confirm you have active ongoing Hepatitis C. This is done using a viral load test on your blood that shows that the virus is active.
  2. We identify the genotype of your Hepatitis C virus so we can pick the best drug regimen for you.
  3. Looking thoroughly at your medical history and certain blood tests, we ensure there are no other conditions - especially diseases in your liver - that could affect response to treatment.
  4. Before we start your treatment, we must establish the health condition of your liver:
    1. We measure the stiffness of the liver using Fibroscan and the results of certain blood tests.
    2. Advanced stiffness is called “cirrhosis.” People with cirrhosis may need different drugs or a longer treatment course.
    3. People with cirrhosis must be monitored after the virus has been cured because of the residual risk of cancer.

What happens on your 1st Visit:

  • Dr. Ruane will review your medical history and do a focused examination - to get the most from this visit, bring with you results of any blood work or medical records you have!
  • Review of all medications and supplements you are taking, and that may interfere with successful treatment
  • Fibroscan examination - fast for 3 hours before coming in!
  • At this point some additional testing may be needed (ultrasound, other liver blood tests)
  • Once Dr. Ruane knows your genotype, and liver condition, he can write you a prescription and send it to a specialty pharmacy that works with your insurance

What happens on your 2nd Visit:

  • We review all your tests again to make sure all is in order
  • Review of all medication
  • Education about the therapy
  • We plan out the start of treatment and treatment course

How long does treatment take?

Depending on:

  • the genotype of your virus
  • the amount of virus in your blood
  • the condition of your liver
  • response to attempted treatment before

treatment could be 8 weeks, 3 months or six months.