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Treatments for Viral Hepatitis

Treatments for Viral Hepatitis:

The most effective treatment plan for viral hepatitis uses a multifaceted approach and varies depending on the specific type of viral hepatitis. Treatment plans are individualized to best fit the patient's age, medical history, and type and stage of the disease. The goal of treatment is to stop or slow the progression of damage to the liver and minimize and quickly treat any complications, such as such as chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure, liver cancer and death.

The first step in treatment is prevention. Prevention measures include avoiding behaviors and situations that put a person at a high risk of catching viral hepatitis, such as being sexually active outside of a monogamous relationship, living in or travelling to places with poor sanitation and being an IV drug abuser who shares needles. Another important prevention measure for hepatitis B is getting the hepatitis B vaccination. The hepatitis A vaccination is important to prevent hepatitis A when travelling to developing countries where sanitation is poor and the disease is widespread. In this case, an injection of immune globulin is also generally recommended.

Viral hepatitis is not treated with antibiotics because it is caused by a virus and antibiotics are not effective in treating viral infections. Some forms of viral hepatitis are treated with antiviral medications. General treatment of viral hepatitis also includes rest and ensuring good nutrition.

People with viral hepatitis should not drink alcohol or take any supplements, over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs without consulting their health care provider, because they can cause liver damage.

For serious cases of viral hepatitis, especially if there is liver damage, hospitalization may be necessary. Treatment in the hospital may include medications, a liver biopsy, and other diagnostic testing and treatment.

Complications of viral hepatitis are also treated as appropriate. Treatment of the life-threatening complications of liver failure may include liver transplant for some people. This major surgical procedure involves using a healthy donor liver to replace a severely diseased liver.

Treatment List for Viral Hepatitis

The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Viral Hepatitis includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

  • Treatments depend on the type or cause of hepatitis
  • Bed rest
  • Fluids
  • Medications
  • Interferon
  • Liver transplant - a life-saving operation for severe liver failure
  • Zinc - possibly used for treatment of related zinc deficiency
  • Depends on the etiological agent
  • Treatment of viral hepatitis depends upon the specific causative virus and whether the infection progresses to a chronic form or not. Treatments include:
    • Avoidance of alcohol and medications that may worsen hepatic function, or rely on the liver for metabolism
    • Supportive therapy - for self limiting illness such as hepatitis A
    • Immunisation for prevention of hepatitis A and B
    • Antiviral treatment - for severe cases of hepatitis B and some chronic cases of viral hepatitis
    • Interferon - for chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C
    • Liver transplantation - for end stage liver disease in certain patients

Viral Hepatitis: Is the Diagnosis Correct?

The first step in getting correct treatment is to get a correct diagnosis. Differential diagnosis list for Viral Hepatitis may include:

Hidden causes of Viral Hepatitis may be incorrectly diagnosed:

Viral Hepatitis: Marketplace Products, Discounts & Offers

Products, offers and promotion categories available for Viral Hepatitis:

Viral Hepatitis: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research all specialists including ratings, affiliations, and sanctions.

Hospital statistics for Viral Hepatitis:

These medical statistics relate to hospitals, hospitalization and Viral Hepatitis:

  • 0.05% (6,469) of hospital episodes were for viral hepatitis in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 89% of hospital consultations for viral hepatitis required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 69% of hospital episodes for viral hepatitis were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 31% of hospital episodes for viral hepatitis were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • more hospital information...»

Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Viral Hepatitis

Research quality ratings and patient incidents/safety measures for hospitals and medical facilities in specialties related to Viral Hepatitis:

Hospital & Clinic quality ratings »

Choosing the Best Treatment Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Viral Hepatitis, on hospital and medical facility performance and surgical care quality:

Discussion of treatments for Viral Hepatitis:

At present, there are no specific treatments for the acute symptoms of viral hepatitis. Doctors recommend bed rest, a healthy diet, and avoidance of alcoholic beverages and some medications that are metabolized through the liver. (Source: excerpt from Hepatitis: NWHIC)

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