Hepatitis C treatment in Germany

Hepatitis C affects the liver and can cause liver cancer, cirrhosis, liver failure and even permanent damage to this vital organ. This disease is caused by a virus and usually goes undetected until the patient suffers some liver damage. A few lucky people get better after enduring a short bout of hepatitis C, but the majority who get infected have to face chronic hepatitis C over the long term. Though it is a serious disease, with proper treatment most patients can negotiate their condition and lead active lives.

Causes of Hepatitis C Infection

The hepatitis C virus spreads by contact with the blood of an infected person. Risk factors include:
  • Sharing needles and other materials used for illegal drug use. This is a common method of infection.
  • Getting a shot with an infected needle: This is common in developing nations where sometimes the same needle is used inject multiple people.
  • Using infected equipment to create tattoos or skin piercings.
  • Sometimes an infected mother can pass on the disease to her baby.
This condition rarely spreads through sexual contact. Activities like sharing drink or food, coughing, sneezing, kissing and hugging do not spread the hepatitis C virus.

Symptoms of Hepatitis C

Normally, there are no initial symptoms after getting infected with the virus. Gradually, the following signs can manifest themselves:
  • Tired feeling
  • Dark urine
  • Sore muscles
  • Itchy skin
  • Belly pain
  • Joint pain
After the above symptoms start to disappear, the patient can suffer yellowish skin and eyes which are the signs of Jaundice. As mentioned earlier, most patients do not experience any symptoms. As a result, it can take years before this disease is diagnosed in the patient.

Diagnosis of Hepatitis C

In many cases, the condition is diagnosed during a routine blood checkup. Most patients with the hepatitis C virus exhibit high amounts of liver enzymes in their blood. A liver biopsy can reveal if the disease has scarred the liver. A person can also check for the condition by buying and using a simple home test kit available at most pharmacies.

Treatment of Hepatitis C

Treatment depends on the seriousness of the condition. If there is only mild liver damage there is no need for medicine. But for serious cases, doctors recommend a combination of medications including Telaprevir, boceprevir, ribavirin and peginterferon. The effectiveness of these medicines depends on the extent of liver infection and damage, and the type of hepatitis C affecting the patient.

It is important for patients to take good care of themselves. Though some people may not experience noticeable changes, others can feel depressed, sick or tired. Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly to feel good and keep up your energy levels. To prevent more liver damage, avoid illegal drugs, alcohol and medications that have adverse side effects on the liver.

In 80% of patients affected by hepatitis C, their immune system is unable to successfully fight off the effects of the virus. As a result, their livers suffer chronic inflammation which further deteriorates into cirrhosis. Slowly, the organ’s functioning worsens and there is also increased risk of liver cancer.

Telaprevir for Hepatitis C

German pharmaceutical company Janssen-Cilag offers a viable treatment medication called Telaprevir (trade name INCIVO) for chronic hepatitis C patients who are infected by the genotype 1 virus which is detectable over a sustained time period. This medication prevents the multiplication of the hepatitis C viruses. The effectiveness of this medicine can be gauged if no viruses are found in the blood after the treatment period, which would lower the risk of complications.

Telaprevir won approval from German health authorities in September 2011 to be treated on patients infected with certain types of hepatitis C viruses. This medication is considered a valuable addition to standard therapy as it prevents the reproduction of the virus and further complications.

Studies reveal that 79% of patients treated with Telaprevir got cured completely as they achieved a sustained virological response (SVR). 58% of patients managed to reduce their drug therapy period from 48 weeks to 24 weeks.

The Dosage - Telaprevir should be taken thrice a day with a snack or meal. Each time two tablets are taken totaling to six per day. Doctors recommend the use of Telaprevir with the drugs ribavirin and peginterferon alfa for successfully containing and treating hepatitis C. Peginterferon alfa is injected once a week, while ribavirin tablet is taken every day. Telaprevir dosage is continued for 12 weeks and after that only ribavirin and peginterferon alfa are used. The length of the treatment period depends on the patient’s condition and the progress of the disease. It can extend up to 48 weeks if necessary.

Early diagnosis and effective treatment are essential to minimize the damage caused by hepatitis C infection. Excellent facilities for HCV treatment in Germany help patients overcome hepatitis C and recover well to lead active and fulfilling lives. With a continuous presence in the field of medical assistance services, we have gained a great expertise to provide you with credible assistance to find the best available HCV treatment in Germany.