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What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C refers to the inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The primary mode of transmission is through blood. The disease develops as an acute infection and progresses to chronic in 80% of the affected. The acute infection lasts for a maximum of 6 months and recovery is possible without any treatment while the chronic infection lasts for a longer duration and may lead to cirrhosis and carcinoma (cancer).

Based on the genotype, HCV is classified into 6 types ranging from 1 to 6. Genotype 3 is the most commonly reported in India followed by genotype 1. Identification of genotype is necessary to provide appropriate treatment.

According to WHO, the prevalence of HCV infection in the Indian subcontinent is 0.5 - 1% against 1.6% worldwide and proves as a threat to the population.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Acute phase

Time usually taken for your symptoms to appear varies from 2 weeks to 6 months. 80% of infected individuals are asymptomatic but may experience:

  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Reduced appetite
  • Yellow discolouration of the eyes and the skin
  • Abdominal discomfort

Chronic phase

In later stages, there is:

What are the main causes?

HCV is mainly transmitted by blood through the following ways:

  • Sharing of needles and personal products like razors in drug users
  • Usage of infected needles and syringes in hospitals
  • Inappropriate sterilization of medical equipment
  • Blood transfusion with contaminated blood

Other modes of transmission are:

  • Sexual route
  • Mother to baby

Infection doesn’t spread through contaminated food and water nor by sharing household items.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

If you experience the mentioned symptoms, consult your doctor and he/she may recommend blood tests to determine the level of liver enzymes along with HCV antibody (Anti -HCV) and HCV ribonucleic acid (HCV RNA) tests to detect the virus. This test can detect the virus within just a week.

Liver biopsy is done to identify the extent of liver damage. HCV genotype testing is also carried out prior to initiation of therapy.

Direct acting antivirals are the newest drugs available for the treatment of hepatitis C infection with a treatment duration of 3 months. Due to the unaffordable nature of newer agents in India, conventional therapy is still used widely.

Currently, no vaccination is available for prevention of infection, but the disease can be prevented to a great extent by reducing the exposure to the virus (avoiding needle and syringe sharing, blood transfusion and sexual contact with affected individuals).

Proper adherence to the medication given by your doctor can help overcome the infection and improve your quality of life.

  1. Medicines for Hepatitis C
  2. Doctors for Hepatitis C
Dr. Suraj Bhagat

Dr. Suraj Bhagat

गैस्ट्रोएंटरोलॉजी

Dr. Smruti Ranjan Mishra

Dr. Smruti Ranjan Mishra

गैस्ट्रोएंटरोलॉजी

Dr. Sankar Narayanan

Dr. Sankar Narayanan

गैस्ट्रोएंटरोलॉजी

Medicines for Hepatitis C

Medicines listed below are available for Hepatitis C. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

Medicine NamePack SizePrice (Rs.)
HepcinatHepcinat 400 Mg Tablet12000
NatdacNatdac 60 Mg Tablet2800
My HepMy Hep 400 Mg Tablet9600
CimivirCimivir 400 Mg Tablet15230
HepcvirHepcvir 400 Mg Tablet14800
NovisofNovisof 400 Mg Tablet15316
ReclaimReclaim Tablet16000
ResofResof 400 Mg Tablet14565
SofabSofab 400 Mg Tablet3032
SofocruzSofocruz 400 Mg Tablet15920
SofocureSofocure Tablet14013
SofokemSofokem Tablet14565
SovihepSovihep 400 Mg Tablet14852
ViroclearViroclear 400 Mg Tablet16000
MydaclaMydacla 60 Mg Tablet4800
DacihepDacihep 60 Mg Tablet4800
DaclacruzDaclacruz 60 Mg Tablet4800
DaclacureDaclacure 60 Mg Tablet4617
DaclafabDaclafab 60 Mg Tablet4617
DaclahepDaclahep 60 Mg Tablet4800
DaclakemDaclakem 60 Mg Tablet5285
DaclitofDaclitof 60 Mg Tablet4607

Do you or anyone in your family have this disease? Please do a survey and help others

References

  1. World Health Organization [Internet]. Geneva (SUI): World Health Organization; Hepatitis C
  2. European Association. Natural history of hepatitis C. November 2014Volume 61, Issue 1, Supplement, Pages S58–S68
  3. Prasanta K Bhattacharya, Aakash Roy. Management of Hepatitis C in the Indian Context: An Update. Department of General Medicine, North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health & Medical Sciences, Shillong, India
  4. Sandeep Satsangia, Yogesh K. Chawla. Viral hepatitis: Indian scenario. Med J Armed Forces India. 2016 Jul; 72(3): 204–210. PMID: 27546957
  5. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Hepatitis C Questions and Answers for the Public

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