It’s pretty rare to find someone who has an extensive knowledge of infectious diseases, and all most people will be able to say about hepatitis is ‘it sounds pretty bad.’ Well, Hepatitis C – or Hep C as it’s commonly shortened to – isn’t the worst of cards that life can give you, but it’s a whole lot more than a nuisance too. Hep C is a liver disease that occurs when the hepatitis C virus attacks the liver. For most people, it’s a temporary illness, but for some the real risk is that it can turn into chronic hepatitis.
Asking if Hep C can be cured without treatment isn’t one of the more common questions related to this, but that’s what we’re going to discuss here.
Along with that we’ll provide info on a Hepatitis C 12 week treatment plan, and more on how much is Hep C treatment. For anyone looking for quick references on hepatitis C symptoms, they are fatigue, nausea, reduced appetite, abdominal pain, dark urine, and jaundice (yellowed skin). However, it is important to know that in some instances people can have contracted Hep C and yet show no symptoms whatsoever.
The only way to get Hep C is to have blood infected with Hepatitis C get into your own bloodstream. For this reason, intravenous (injecting needles) drug use is one of the most dangerous activities when it comes to the chances of getting Hep C. Another one is getting tattoos from anyone who is not reputable and operates their tattoo studio in unsanitary conditions. And although they are less common, piercings, pedicures, and manicures can also be risky if given in similar conditions.
Lesser risk factors are sharing personal hygiene items like razors with an infected person. Plus, certain types of sexual encounters can present a chance of getting Hepatitis C. Anal sex is the riskiest of them. People who received blood transfusions or organ transplants prior to 1990 will also have been more at risk of contracting hep C, and keep in mind again that it’s possible to have Hep C but be unaware of it due to the lack of any symptoms.
Treatment of Hepatitis C
The first thing that needs to be said for anyone wondering if Hep C can be cured without treatment is that every physician is going to tell you that the only reliable way to treat Hep C is to use a course of medication. The types of drugs used to Hep C these days are from a category of newer antiviral drugs called DAAs (direct-acting antivirals) and the good news is that they succeed in defeating the hepatitis C virus upwards of 90% of the time.
The most common of these is Sovaldi (Sofosbuvir), but before these drugs became so commonplace, the standard treatment for Hep C was with a drug called ribavirin paired with interferon shots. The DAAs are not only more effective for curing hep C, but they are also a LOT less hard on your body.
Keeping in mind that – as stated – hepatitis C can lead to chronic hepatitis or even liver cancer, it’s best to ensure that you are treating it in the quickest and most effective manner. If your physician advises you to go on Sovaldi then that is what you should do.
However, the truth about can Hep C be cured without treatment is that YES, it is possible. For some people Hepatitis C does subside on its own without treatment, but clinical research has indicated that this only occurs in about 15% of people who contract the disease. The added risk in this is some people might not have visible symptoms and therefore they may continue to have the disease even though they think they’ve overcome it.
Keep in mind that untreated Hep C can lead to liver cirrhosis or even liver cancer.
Hepatitis C 12 Week Treatment
The specifics of your treatment and how long it will take you to recover from Hep C depends on what type of genome of Hep C you have. There are six of them, and genotype 1 is the most common one in North America, and this genotype usually requires a 12 to 24 week course of treatment in order for the patient to be completely free of the Hep C virus.
Getting the same results from a Hepatitis C 12 week treatment is possible, but it will mean that you will have to be taking Sovaldi or one of the DAA class of hepatitis medications. Be advised as well that herbal remedies, homeopathic medicines, and minerals are not effective and should also not be considered when weighing the possibility of a Hepatitis C 12 Week Treatment.
How Much is Hep C Treatment?
Anyone hoping to hear that the medication used to treat Hep C is inexpensive isn’t going to like what we have to say here. DAA drugs work incredibly well to cure yourself of Hep C very quickly, but they are certainly not cheap and especially so for people who don’t have extended health insurance that also covers prescription medication.
As mentioned, Sovaldi is one of the most commonly prescribed of these meds for treating Hep C. Other standard ones are Harvoni, Mavyret, Zepatier, and Technivie. To give you some idea regarding how much is Hep C treatment with these drugs, consider this:
- A Hepatitis C 12 week treatment with Harvoni can cost nearly $100,000!
- The same treatment with Technivie can cost $75,000 +
- Nearly $55,000 for a 12 week treatment with Zepatier
- Approximately $40,000 for a 12 week treatment with Mavyret
The reason these meds are so expensive is because of the large demand for them and the high costs associated with the manufacturers being able to bring them to market.
Learn more about Birth Control by browsing our other blog posts and options pages.
Medically reviewed by Dr. Gerardo Sison, Pharm.D.
Gerardo Sison, Pharm.D., is a registered pharmacist who has worked in clinical and retail settings providing drug education for healthcare professionals and patients alike. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida where he earned a Doctorate of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.). He piloted a longitudinal clinical research program and completed his clinical internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida. Read More >>
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