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Hepatitis Message Board

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If you have ever heard anyone talk about someone who took treatment for Hepatitis C they usually describe the treatment as a horrible experience. Most often I heard things like “it made them real sick”. I had these comments in my head as I began treatment about 2 years ago, and pretty much expected the worse. I started taking Ribavirin orally and a weekly injection of Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a) and this routine lasted for 48 weeks. Unfortunately, after one month of not taking any medication, the virus came back. I learned a new word: “relapser” and I also learned about 50% of patients treated become a relapser. At this point my Dr. started me on Infergen [url][/url] which is a daily injection. I asked the Dr. what side effects I could expect and if they would be different with Infergen. They pretty much are the same with both medications. Most of these side effects are transitory.

· Shortness of breath upon exertion.
· Depression
· Muscle aches
· Quick to anger (go to and type in Ribarage).
· Excessively dry skin, followed by itching.
· Skin rashes, especially at the injection site. Find someone who can help you rotate the injection site.
· Excessive thirst, which leads to increasing water consumption, which leads to (yes, you guessed it) frequency of urination.
· Lowered libido
· Feeling tired almost all the time (Luckily, I have a desk job. I don’t know how those with physically demanding work make it)

If you are considering taking the treatment, by all means, discuss the issues with your Dr. The treatment can:
· decrease the amount of damage to your liver
· lower the amount of hepatitis C virus in your blood
· lower your alanine aminotransferase (ALT) liver enzyme level (a fairly specific indicator of liver status)

Best wishes in your treatment for Hepatitis C.

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