How to Treat Hepatitis B?
How to Treat Hepatitis B? The hepatitis B treatment process is usually performed by a liver specialist (hepatologist). The type of treatment for hepatitis B is done depending on how long the patient is infected. Whether acute (short-term) hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis B (long-term).
Acute Hepatitis B Treatment
This acute infection is commonly experienced by adult patients. Acute hepatitis B patients can usually be symptom free and recover within months without chronic hepatitis B.
There are no specific steps to treat acute hepatitis B. This disease can be cured without having to undergo treatment at the hospital. However, patients are advised to consult a doctor if they experience severe symptoms.
The goal of acute hepatitis B treatment is to relieve symptoms by administering painkillers (eg paracetamol) and anti-nausea drugs (eg metoclopramide). Your doctor may give you codeine if your pain is more severe.
Patients with acute hepatitis B who feel healthy not necessarily free from viruses. They are advised to have regular blood tests and medical checkups. This process aims to ensure you are completely free from viruses and do not have chronic hepatitis B.
Chronic Hepatitis B Treatment
Patients with chronic hepatitis B generally do not feel any symptoms for a long time. Many people do not realize that they have been infected. If you have been diagnosed positively of this disease, the patient generally requires long-term (sometimes years) medication to prevent liver damage.
As the world of medicine progresses, effective medicines to suppress hepatitis B virus activity are now available. These drugs can inhibit the process of damage to the liver so that the body could fix it. But keep in mind that the possibility of these drugs to completely eliminate the virus is very thin.
Chronic liver condition of chronic hepatitis B patients should also be monitored regularly. This examination will show whether the virus has damaged the liver and how far the damage. This process usually includes:
- Blood test
- FibroScan (a tool to measure the rate of wound tissue formation and hardening of liver tissue)
- Liver biopsy (this process is rarely used)
There are some people who have immune hepatitis B that can suppress the activity of the virus so as not to damage the liver. Therefore, the type of drug to be consumed depends on the presence or absence of the ongoing liver damage process.
If the hepatitis B liver can still function properly, doctors usually recommend the use of peginterferon alfa-2a drug. If the examination indicates that your heart is damaged, your doctor will give you another medication. The damage that occurs suggests that peginterferon alfa-2a is less effective or not suitable for you. An alternative that doctors may offer is an antiviral drug (usually tenofovir or entecavir). The side effects of this drug are vomiting, body aches, and dizziness.
If the liver damage is very severe, your doctor will advise you to undergo a liver transplant (surgery procedure to replace a damaged liver with a healthy heart). Most of the healthy liver comes from people who have died. But not a few people are still alive who are willing to donate their hearts.