How Do I Manage the Side Effects of Treating Hep C? What to Ask Your Doctor


In recent years, scientists have developed antiviral medications to treat hepatitis C. In most cases, treatment with antiviral drugs cures the infection. But it can also cause uncomfortable side effects.

Early treatment for hepatitis C is vital to address the infection and reduce your risk of complications. Without treatment, the complications that can develop from hepatitis C can become severe. This can include liver cancer and liver failure.

Your doctor can help you understand your treatment options and the risk of side effects. Here are some questions you can ask them to learn about the side effects that you might experience, as well as strategies for managing them.

What are the potential side effects of my hepatitis C treatment?

Before you begin a new course of treatment for hepatitis C, ask your doctor about its potential benefits and risks. Their recommended treatment plan will depend on:

  • the specific subtype of hepatitis C virus that’s causing the infection
  • the condition of your liver and overall health
  • how you’ve responded to any past treatments
  • The risk of side effects varies from one antiviral medication to another.

In the past, most cases of hepatitis C were treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. These older medications tend to cause significant side effects. They’ve become less popular, as newer generations of antiviral medications have been developed. These newer drugs tend to be easier to tolerate, but they can still cause effects that some people find hard to manage.