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Hepatitis C

Description

It is a liver infection that leads to serious liver damage. It is caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV). The virus can spread through an infected person’s blood or body fluids i.e. it is a blood-borne virus. It produces few symptoms so mostly you remain unknown to the infection. The HCV affects people in stages; acute hepatitis C (lasts for first 6 months), chronic hepatitis C (longer than 6 months), cirrhosis (disease leads to inflammation), & then liver cancer.

Unlike hepatitis A & B, hepatitis C has no vaccine. It is highly contagious that’s why high number of people are with this disease. However, it doesn't spread through breast milk, food, water, or casual contact (hugging & kissing). According to WHO, 71 million people suffer from chronic hepatitis C.

Causes

It is caused when blood or body fluids contaminated with HCV gets into your bloodstream. Exposure to the virus can be:

  • By sharing injection drugs & needles
  • Having sexual intercourse when you have HIV, STD, several partners, or rough sex
  • Stuck with infected needles
  • While giving birth from mother to the child
  • Sharing items like toothbrushes, razor blades & nail clippers
  • Getting tattoo/piercing with infected equipment
Risk factors

Factors that increase your chance of getting hepatitis C is:

  • Received blood from an infected donor
  • Injected or inhaled drugs
  • Blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992 (since July 1992, all blood & organ donations are tested for HCV)
  • Born between ages 1945 & 1965 have got highest rate of infection
  • Long-term kidney dialysis
  • HIV
  • Born to hepatitis C mother
  • Been in prison
Symptoms

Symptoms noticed in acute hepatitis C include:

  • Gallstones
  • Encephalopathy (brain doesn’t work well)
  • Kidney failure
  • Easy bleeding & bruising
  • Muscle loss
  • Fluid buildup in legs or abdominal cavity
  • Spider-like veins on the skin
  • Esophageal varices (vomiting blood)
  • Weight loss
Diagnosis

Its diagnosis involves:

Checking blood for anti-HCV antibodies (proteins that body generate when it finds the hep C virus in blood)

HCV RNA (measures number of viral RNA which is genetic material of hepatitis virus)

Liver function tests (measure proteins and enzyme levels)

Management

The acute infection with HCV doesn't require specific treatment as the body's immune system clears the infection. The chronic form requires necessary treatment. The best therapy recommended by WHO involves pan-genotypic direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). DAAs can treat most HCV infections.

 

 

When to consult a doctor?

If you experience the above-mentioned symptoms and suspect having hepatitis C, then consult your doctor. The sooner you get diagnosed; the more chances are of you not developing the chronic infection.

Available Medicine for Hepatitis C

Cell-Aid 3MIU

Rs.570

Werick

Hepaferon 3MIU

Rs.590

Pharmadic

Hiferon 3MIU

Rs.1000

A.J Mirza

Hiferon 5MIU

Rs.1500

A.J Mirza

INF-A 3MIU

Rs.450

Ferozsons

Intefen 3MIU

Rs.1000

Nova Med

Intefen 3MIU

Rs.1000

Nova Med

Intefen 5MIU

Rs.1800

Nova Med

Inter 2A 3MIU

Rs.750

Gene-Tech

Inter 2A 4.5MIU

Rs.1050

Gene-Tech

Inter 2A 9MIU

Rs.1500

Gene-Tech

Intermax 3MIU

Rs.1050

Aster

Intermax 6MIU

Rs.1350

Aster

Roferon-A 18MIU

Rs.6447.92

Roche

Roferon-A 3MIU

Rs.980

Roche

Roferon-A 9MIU

Rs.3222.49

Roche

Viteron 3MIU

Rs.1029.6

Century

Viteron 6MIU

Rs.2288

Century

Viteron 9MIU

Rs.3603.6

Century

Anferon 3MIU

Rs.900

CCL

Anferon 3MIU

Rs.600

CCL

Bioferon 3MIU

Rs.700

Segionior

Bioferon 5MIU

Rs.1003

Segionior

Ceron 3MIU

Rs.646

Biocare

Ceron 5MIU

Rs.1080

Biocare

Heberon 5MIU

Rs.1543.8

Macter

INF 3MIU

Rs.450

Ferozsons

Interlong 3MIU

Rs.650

Accurate

Interlong 5MIU

Rs.1100

Accurate

Laifulong 3MIU

Rs.600

High-Q

PDFeron-B 3MIU

Rs.600

Nextar

PDFeron-B 5MIU

Rs.1000

Nextar

Prolfer 3MIU

Rs.608.58

Zafa

Qferon 3MIU

Rs.600

Bosch

Refron 3MIU

Rs.470.59

Global-Vision

Uniferon 3MIU

Rs.398

Getz Pharma

Uniferon 5MIU

Rs.1316

Getz Pharma

Uniron 3MIU

Rs.600

Accurate

Ribazole 400mg

Rs.340

Getz Pharma

Ribascot 400mg

Rs.90

Scotman