What is Pegasys, and how does it work?
Pegasys is a prescription medicine that is:
- used with other hepatitis C virus (HCV) antiviral medicines to treat adults who have chronic (lasting a long time) hepatitis C infection and compensated liver disease.
- used alone to treat adults with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and compensated liver disease, and who are not able to take other HCV antiviral medicines.
- used with Ribavirin to treat children 5 years of age and older who have CHC and compensated liver disease.
What are the side effects of Pegasys?
RISK OF SERIOUS DISORDERS
Risk of Serious Disorders
Alpha interferons, including Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a), may cause or aggravate fatal or life-threatening neuropsychiatric, autoimmune, ischemic, and infectious disorders. Patients should be monitored closely with periodic clinical and laboratory evaluations. Therapy should be withdrawn in patients with persistently severe or worsening signs or symptoms of these conditions. In many, but not all cases, these disorders resolve after stopping Pegasys therapy.
Pegasys can cause serious side effects including:
- Blood problems. Pegasys can affect your bone marrow and cause low red blood cell, low white blood cell and low platelet counts. These blood counts may fall to dangerously low levels. If your blood cell counts become very low, you can get anemia, infections or have problems with bleeding and bruising.
- Thyroid problems. Symptoms of thyroid changes include feeling cold or hot all the time, a change in your weight, and changes to your skin, trouble concentrating.
- Blood sugar problems. Pegasys may cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or diabetes. If you have high blood sugar or diabetes before starting Pegasys, talk to your healthcare provider before you take Pegasys. If you develop high blood sugar or diabetes during treatment with Pegasys, your healthcare provider may tell you to stop Pegasys and prescribe a different medicine for you.
Symptoms of low blood sugar may include:
Symptoms of high blood sugar or diabetes may include:
- increased thirst
- increased appetite
- weight loss
- urinating more often than normal
- your breath smells like fruit
- Serious eye problems. Pegasys may cause eye problems that may lead to vision loss or blindness. You should have an eye exam before you start taking Pegasys. If you have eye problems or have had them in the past, you may need eye exams during treatment with Pegasys. Tell your healthcare provider or eye doctor right away if you have any vision changes during treatment with Pegasys.
- Serious liver problems, worsening of liver problems including liver failure and death. Symptoms may include:
- Lung problems, including:
- trouble breathing
- new or worse high blood pressure of the lungs (pulmonary hypertension). This can be severe andmay lead to death.
- inflammation of lung tissue
- Inflammation of your intestines (colitis). Symptoms of inflammation of your intestines (colitis) may include:
- Inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis). Symptoms of inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis) may include:
- Serious allergic reactions and skin reactions. Get medical help right away if you get any of the following symptoms:
- Effect on growth in children. Children can experience a delay in weight gain and height increase during treatment with Pegasys. In children with hepatitis C, catch-up in growth happens after treatment stops, but some children may not reach the height that they were expected to have before treatment. In children with hepatitis B, it is not yet known if catch-up in growth happens after treatment stops. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are concerned about your child’s growth during treatment with Pegasys.
- Nerve problems. People who take Pegasys or other alfa interferon products with telbivudine (Tyzeka) for hepatitis B can develop nerve problems such as continuing numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in the arms or legs (peripheral neuropathy). Call your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms.
Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed above.
The most common side effects of Pegasys include:
- flu-like symptoms. Symptoms may include tiredness, weakness, fever, chills, muscle aches, joint pain, and headaches. Some of these symptoms may be decreased by injecting your Pegasys dose in the evening. Talk to your healthcare provider about which over-the-counter medicines you can take to help prevent or decrease some of the symptoms.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all of the side effects of Pegasys.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
You may also report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.
What is the dosage for Pegasys?
Administer Pegasys by subcutaneous injection once weekly in the abdomen or thigh for the treatment of:
- Adult patients with CHC without or with HIV coinfection [see Recommended Dosage for Adult Patients with CHC ];
- Pediatric patients with CHC [see Recommended Dosage for Pediatric Patients with CHC];
- Adult patients with CHB [see Recommended Dosage for Adults with CHB]; and
- Pediatric patients with CHB [see Recommended Dosage for Pediatrics Patients with CHB].
For treatment of CHC, use Pegasys in combination with other HCV antiviral drugs. For information about the recommended dosage and administration and the safe and effective use of these other HCV antiviral drugs, refer to their prescribing information. Pegasys monotherapy is only indicated in the treatment of CHC if there are contraindications to or significant intolerance to other HCV antiviral drugs.
For dosage modifications in patients with CHC or CHB:
- Due to neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, ALT elevation, and depression [see Dosage Modifications].
- In patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/minute) and in patients with creatinine clearance between 30 and 50 mL/minute [see Dosage Modifications].
For important administration instructions for all the Pegasys injection presentations (i.e., vial, prefilled syringe, autoinjector) [see Dosage Modifications].
Recommended Dosage For Adults with CHC
Dosage In Adults With CHC Without HIV Coinfection
Table 1 displays the recommended dosage and duration of Pegasys and other HCV antiviral drugs in adults with CHC (without HIV coinfection) based on HCV genotype.
For treatment of HCV genotype 1 with Pegasys in combination with ribavirin or alone, discontinuation of treatment is recommended if at least a 2 log10 reduction from baseline in HCV RNA has not been demonstrated by 12 weeks of therapy or if undetectable HCV RNA has not been achieved after 24 weeks of therapy. Refer to the prescribing information for specific HCV antiviral drugs used in combination with Pegasys for information on stopping therapy based on treatment response.
Immediately discontinue Pegasys for hepatic decompensation (Child-Pugh score greater than 6 [class B and C]).
Table 1 : Recommended Dosage for Pegasys for Adults
with CHC Infection1
|Hepatitis C Virus Genotype||Pegasys Dosage||Pegasys Duration|
|Genotypes 1, 4*||180 mcg subcutaneous injection in thigh or abdomen once weekly||Refer to the prescribing information of HCV antiviral drugs.|
|Genotypes 2, 3**|
|Genotypes 5, 6||There are insufficient data for dosage recommendations|
|1 If Pegasys is used in combination with other
antiviral drugs for CHC, refer to the prescribing information of the other HCV
antiviral drugs for the recommended dosage of the other HCV antiviral drugs and
duration of the entire treatment regimen.
* If Pegasys and ribavirin are used without other HCV antiviral drugs the recommended duration of therapy is 48 weeks. ** If Pegasys and ribavirin are used without other HCV antiviral drugs the recommended duration of therapy is 24 weeks.
If Pegasys monotherapy is used for treatment of CHC, the recommended Pegasys dosage is 180 mcg via subcutaneous injection in thigh or abdomen once weekly for 48 weeks.
Dosage In Adults With CHC With HIV Coinfection
The recommended Pegasys dosage in adults with CHC and HIV coinfection is 180 mcg subcutaneously once weekly in the thigh or abdomen. If Pegasys is used in combination with other antiviral drugs, refer to the prescribing information of the other HCV antiviral drugs for the recommended dosage of the other HCV antiviral drugs and duration of the entire treatment regimen (including Pegasys). If Pegasys and ribavirin are used without other HCV antiviral drugs, the recommended duration of therapy is 48 weeks (regardless of HCV genotype).
Recommended Dosage For Pediatric Patients With CHC
Pegasys is administered as 180 mcg/1.73 m² x BSA subcutaneously once weekly, to a maximum dose of 180 mcg, and should be given in combination with ribavirin. The recommended treatment duration for pediatric patients with HCV genotype 2 or 3 is 24 weeks and for other HCV genotypes is 48 weeks. Patients who initiate treatment prior to their 18th birthday should maintain the recommended pediatric dosage (not the adult dosage) through the completion of therapy. Refer to the prescribing information of ribavirin for the recommended dosage and duration.
Recommended Dosage For Adults With CHB
The recommended Pegasys dosage in adults with CHB is 180 mcg subcutaneously once weekly in the thigh or abdomen for 48 weeks.
Recommended Dosage For Pediatrics Patients With CHB
The recommended Pegasys dosage in pediatric patients for HBeAg-positive CHB is 180 mcg/1.73 m² x BSA subcutaneously once weekly to a maximum dose of 180 mcg. The recommended duration of therapy is 48 weeks.
Maintain the recommended pediatric dosage through the entire duration of therapy in patients who turn 18 years of age during therapy.
Pegasys Dosage Modifications Due to Adverse Reactions, Neutropenia or Thrombocytopenia in Adults
Table 2 displays the recommended Pegasys dosage modifications due to adverse reactions, or due to neutropenia, or thrombocytopenia in adults. Following improvement of the adverse reaction, neutropenia or thrombocytopenia, consider re-escalation of the dosage back to the previous dosage.
Table 2 : Recommended Pegasys Dosage Modifications in
Adults Due to Adverse Reactions, Neutropenia or Thrombocytopenia
|Laboratory Values||Recommended Pegasys Dosage|
|ANC 500 to less than 750 cells/mm³||Reduce to 135 mcg subcutaneously once weekly|
|ANC less than 500 cells/mm³||Discontinue treatment until ANC values return to more than 1000 cells/mm³. Reinstitute at 90 mcg subcutaneously once weekly and monitor ANC.|
|Platelet 25,000 to less than 50,000 cells/mm³||Reduce to 90 mcg subcutaneously once weekly|
|Platelet less than 25,000 cells/mm³||Discontinue treatment|
|ANC = absolute neutrophil count|
Pegasys Dosage Modifications Due To ALT Elevation In Adults
If ALT increases are progressive despite dose reduction or accompanied by increased bilirubin or evidence of hepatic decompensation, therapy should be immediately discontinued. In CHC patients with progressive ALT increases above baseline values, the dosage of Pegasys should be reduced to 135 mcg and more frequent monitoring of liver function should be performed. After Pegasys dosage reduction or withholding, therapy can be resumed after ALT flares subside.
In CHB patients with elevations in ALT (greater than 5 x ULN), more frequent monitoring of liver function should be performed and consideration should be given to either reducing the dosage of Pegasys to 135 mcg or temporarily discontinuing treatment. After Pegasys dosage reduction or withholding, therapy can be resumed after ALT flares subside.
In adult patients with persistent, severe (ALT greater than 10 times above the upper limit of normal) hepatitis B flares, consideration should be given to discontinuation of treatment.
Pegasys Dosage Modifications Due To Depression In Adults And In Pediatric Patients
Table 3 displays the recommended Pegasys dosage modifications in adult and pediatric patients who develop interferon-related depression or whose underlying depression worsens. Table 3 also includes recommended frequency of psychiatric visits.
Table 3 : Recommended Pegasys Dosage Modifications and
Psychiatric Visits Due to Depression in Adult & Pediatric Patients
|Depression Severity||Initial Depression Management (4-8 weeks)||Depression Management After 8 Weeks|
|Dosage Modification||Visit Schedule||Depression Severity Remains Stable||Depression Severity Improves||Depression Severity Worsens|
|Mild||No change||Evaluate once weekly by visit and/or phone||Continue weekly visit schedule||Resume normal visit schedule||Consider psychiatric consultation. Discontinue Pegasys or reduce dosage to 135 mcg in adults (135 mcg/1.73 m² x BSA for pediatric patients) or 90 mcg once weekly for adults (90 mcg/1.73 m² x BSA for pediatric patients)|
|Moderate||Decrease Pegasys dosage to 135 mcg in adults (135 mcg/1.73 m² x BSA for pediatric patients) or 90 mcg in adults (90 mcg/1.73 m² x BSA for pediatric patients) once weekly||Evaluate once weekly (office visit at least every other week)||Consider psychiatric consultation. Continue reduced dosing||If symptoms improve and are stable for 4 weeks, may resume normal visit schedule. Continue reduced dosage or return to normal dosage||Obtain immediate psychiatric consultation Discontinue Pegasys permanently.|
|Severe||Discontinue Pegasys permanently||Obtain immediate psychiatric consultation||Psychiatric therapy necessary|
Pegasys Dosage Modifications Due To Adverse Reactions Or Laboratory Abnormalities In Pediatric Patients
Table 4 displays the recommended Pegasys dosage modifications due to adverse reactions, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, or elevated ALT in pediatric patients.
Table 4 : Recommended Pegasys Dosage Modifications for
Neutropenia, Thrombocytopenia, and Elevated ALT in Pediatric Patients
|Laboratory Abnormality||Recommended Pegasys Dosage Modification|
|Neutropenia||ANC 750-999 cells/mm³||Week 1-2: immediate modification to 135 mcg/1.73 m² x BSA Week 3-48: no modification.||No dosage modification.|
|ANC 500-749 cells/mm³||Week 1-2:
||Immediate modification to 135 mcg/1.73 m² x BSA.|
|ANC 250-499 cells/mm³||Week 1-2: Delay or hold dosage until ANC is more than 750 cells/mm³ then resume dose at 90 mcg/1.73 m² x BSA; Week 3-48: Delay or hold dosage until ANC is more than 750 cells/mm³ then resume dosage at 135 mcg/1.73 m² x BSA.||Interrupt dosing until ANC is more than or equal to 1000 cells/mm³, then resume dose with 90 mcg/1.73 m² x BSA and monitor.|
|ANC less than 250 cells/mm³ (or febrile neutropenia):||Discontinue treatment.||Discontinue treatment.|
|Thrombocytopenia||Platelet 25,000 to less than 50,000 cells/mm³||Reduce dosage to 90 mcg/1.73 m² x BSA.||Reduce dosage to 90 mcg/1.73 m² x BSA.|
|Platelet less than 25,000 cells/mm³||Discontinue treatment.||Discontinue treatment.|
|Increased alanine transaminase (ALT)||For persistent or increasing elevations more than or equal to 5 but less than 10 x ULN||
|For persistent ALT values more than or equal to 10 x ULN||Discontinue treatment.||Discontinue treatment.|
|ANC = absolute neutrophil count|
Pegasys Dosage Modifications For Adults With Renal Impairment
Prior to administering Pegasys, evaluate renal function. Table 5 displays the recommended dosage modifications for adults with creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/minute, including patients with end-stage renal disease requiring hemodialysis.
Refer to the respective prescribing information of other HCV antiviral drugs regarding use in patients with renal impairment.
Table 5 : Pegasys Dosage Modification for Adults with
|Creatinine Clearance||Recommended Pegasys Dosage|
|30 to 50 mL/minute||180 mcg once weekly|
|Less than 30 mL/minute including patients on hemodialysis||135 mcg once weekly|
|Less than 30 mL/minute including patients on hemodialysis*||135 mcg once weekly|
|* If severe adverse reactions or laboratory abnormalities develop, Pegasys dose can be reduced to 90 mcg once weekly until adverse reactions abate. If intolerance persists after dosage adjustment, Pegasys should be discontinued.|
Pegasys Dosage Modifications For Pediatric Patients With Renal Impairment
Dosage recommendations for pediatric patients with renal impairment are not available.
- After Salmonella Cases Double in a Week, Cantaloupe Recall Expanded
- COVID Vaccines Curbed Pandemic-Linked Surge in Preemie Births
- Could a 'Brain Coach' Help Folks at Higher Risk for Alzheimer's?
- Early Promise for Stem Cell Therapy to Curb MS
- Internet Poses No Threat to Mental Health, Major Study Finds
- More Health News »
What drugs interact with Pegasys?
Drugs Metabolized By Cytochrome P450
- There was no effect on the pharmacokinetics of representative drugs metabolized by CYP 2C9, CYP 2C19, CYP 2D6 or CYP 3A4.
- Treatment with Pegasys once weekly for 4 weeks in healthy subjects was associated with an inhibition of P450 1A2 and a 25% increase in theophylline AUC.
- Treatment with Pegasys once weekly for 4 weeks in healthy subjects was associated with an inhibition of P450 1A2 and a 25% increase in theophylline AUC.
- Theophylline serum levels should be monitored and appropriate dose adjustments considered for patients given both theophylline and Pegasys.
- In a PK study of HCV subjects concomitantly receiving methadone, treatment with Pegasys once weekly for 4 weeks was associated with methadone levels that were 10% to 15% higher than at baseline.
- The clinical significance of this finding is unknown; however, patients should be monitored for the signs and symptoms of methadone toxicity.
- The pharmacokinetics of concomitant administration of methadone and Pegasys were evaluated in 24 Pegasys naïve CHC subjects (15 male, 9 female) who received 180 mcg Pegasys subcutaneously weekly.
- All subjects were on stable methadone maintenance therapy (median dose 95 mg, range 30 mg to 150 mg) prior to receiving Pegasys. Mean methadone PK parameters were 10% to 15% higher after 4 weeks of Pegasys treatment as compared to baseline.
- Methadone did not significantly alter the PK of Pegasys as compared to a PK study of 6 chronic hepatitis C subjects not receiving methadone.
- In Study 7 among the CHC/HIV coinfected cirrhotic subjects receiving NRTIs cases of hepatic decompensation (some fatal) were observed.
- Patients receiving Pegasys/ribavirin in combination with other HCV antiviral drugs and NRTIs should be closely monitored for treatment associated toxicities.
- Physicians should refer to prescribing information for other HCV antiviral drugs and the respective NRTIs for guidance regarding toxicity management.
- In addition, dose reduction or discontinuation of Pegasys, ribavirin or both, should also be considered if worsening toxicities are observed.
- In Study 7, subjects who were administered zidovudine in combination with Pegasys/COPEGUS developed severe neutropenia (ANC less than 500 cells/mm³) and severe anemia (hemoglobin less than 8 g/dL) more frequently than similar subjects not receiving zidovudine (neutropenia 15% vs. 9%) (anemia 5% vs. 1%).
- Discontinuation of zidovudine should be considered as medically appropriate. Dose reduction or discontinuation of Pegasys, ribavirin or both should also be considered if worsening clinical toxicities are observed, including hepatic decompensation (e.g., Child-Pugh greater than 6).
- Refer to the prescribing information for specific HCV antiviral drugs used in combination with Pegasys for information on drug interaction potential.
Is Pegasys safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?
- A Ribavirin Pregnancy Registry has been established to monitor maternal and fetal outcomes of pregnancies of female patients and female partners of male patients exposed to ribavirin during pregnancy or who become pregnant within 6 months following cessation of treatment with ribavirin.
- Healthcare providers and patients are encouraged to report such cases by calling 1-800-593-2214.
- There is no information regarding the presence of peginterferon alfa-2a in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production.
- Because of the potential for adverse reactions from the drugs in nursing infants, a decision must be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue Pegasys.
- The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother's clinical need for Pegasys and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from Pegasys or from the underlying maternal condition.
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
Pegasys is a prescription medicine that is used with other hepatitis C virus (HCV) antiviral medicines to treat adults who have chronic (lasting a long time) hepatitis C infection and compensated liver disease, used alone to treat adults with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and compensated liver disease, and who are not able to take other HCV antiviral medicines, and used with Ribavirin to treat children 5 years of age and older who have CHC and compensated liver disease.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Hepatitis: Surprising Things That Can Damage Your Liver
Alcohol and acetaminophen are well-known liver dangers, but what else can be harmful? WebMD says some of them may surprise you.
What Is Viral Hepatitis? How You Catch Hepatitis A, B, and C
Hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B can make an infected person very sick and they are risk factors for liver cancer, liver...
Liver Health: 14 Best and Worst Foods for Your Liver
Get some simple diet tips to keep your liver healthy, including the best veggies to keep disease away and some snacks you'll want...
Hepatitis C, Hep B, Hep A: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
Hepatitis C, B, and A are viruses that cause liver inflammation. Hepatitis B vaccines and hepatitis A vaccines are available....
Hepatitis C (Hep C): Symptoms, Treatments, Antivirals
What is hepatitis C (Hep C, HVC)? Learn about hepatitis C symptoms, how you get Hep C, contagiousness, and treatment for...
Hepatitis A Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
How many types of hepatitis are there, and what is different about hepatitis A? Take this quiz to find out!
Hepatitis C Quiz: What is Hepatitis C?
How many Americans have hepatitis C? Take this quiz to learn the facts about this chronic disease.
Picture of Hepatitis B
Inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis B virus (HBV), once thought to be passed only through blood products. See a...
Related Disease Conditions
Hepatitis (Viral Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, G)
Hepatitis is most often viral, due to infection with one of the hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D, E, F (not confirmed), and G) or another virus (such as those that cause infectious mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus disease). The main nonviral causes of hepatitis are alcohol and drugs. Many patients infected with hepatitis A, B, and C have few or no symptoms of illness. For those who do develop symptoms of viral hepatitis, the most common are flu-like symptoms including: loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever, weakness, tiredness, and aching in the abdomen. Treatment of viral hepatitis is dependent on the type of hepatitis.
Hepatitis C (HCV, Hep C)
Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is usually spread by blood transfusion, hemodialysis, and needle sticks, especially with intravenous drug abuse. Symptoms of chronic hepatitis include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and fever. Chronic hepatitis C may be cured in most individuals with drugs that target specific genomes of hepatitis C.
Is Hepatitis Contagious?
Hepatitis means "inflammation of the liver," and there are several different types of such as A, B, C, D, and E. Some types of hepatitis are contagious and some types are not. Hepatitis symptoms vary upon the type of disease; however, the following symptoms may develop in someone with hepatitis: fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and discomfort, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), and loss of appetite. Treatment for hepatitis depends upon the cause. Some types of hepatitis have a vaccine to prevent spread of disease such as hepatitis A and B.
Hepatitis A and B Vaccinations
Hepatitis A and hepatitis B are the two most commnon viruses that infect the liver. Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B can be prevented and treated with immunizations (vaccinations) such as Havrix, Vaqta, Twinrix, Comvax, Pediarix, and hepatitis b immune globulin (HBIG).
Is Hepatitis B Contagious?
Hepatitis B is a type of liver infection. Hepatitis B is spread through person-to-person contact or through personal items like razors, toothbrushes, etc. Symptoms of hepatitis B include fever, yellowish skin (jaundice), dark urine, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. There is no drug to cure hepatitis B; however, there is a hepatitis B vaccine available.
Hepatitis B (HBV, Hep B)
The hepatitis B virus (HBV, hep B) is a unique, coated DNA virus belonging to the Hepadnaviridae family of viruses. The course of the virus is determined primarily by the age at which the infection is acquired and the interaction between the virus and the body's immune system. Successful treatment is associated with a reduction in liver injury and fibrosis (scarring), a decreased likelihood of developing cirrhosis and its complications, including liver cancer, and a prolonged survival.
Is Hepatitis C Contagious?
Hepatitis C or hep C causes acute and chronic liver disease. Hep C is a form of liver disease with symptoms like fatigue, jaundice, nausea and vomiting, anorexia, and abdominal discomfort. Hepatitis C is a contagious viral infection caused by people sharing drug needles, surgical instruments that have not been properly sanitized, and organ transplantation.
Hepatitis C Cure (Symptoms, Transmission, Treatments, and Cost)
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. There are a variety of toxins, diseases, illicit drugs, medications, bacterial and viral infections, and heavy alcohol use can case inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis C viral infection (HCV) is one type of hepatitis. According to the CDC, in 2014 there were an estimated 30,500 cases of acute hepatitis C infections in the US. An estimated 2.7-3.9 million people in the US have chronic hepatitis C. The virus is spread from person-to-person via blood-to-blood contact. Symptoms of HCV infection include joint pain, jaundice, dark urine, nausea, fatigue, fever, loss of appetites, clay colored stool. Hepatitis C can be cured with medications in most people. There is no vaccine against the hepatitis C virus.
Is Hepatitis A Contagious?
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A is one type of hepatitis. Hepatitis is transmitted through person to person contact, contaminated ice, vegetables, fruits, and untreated water. Hepatitis A can be prevented by the hepatitis A vaccine. Symptoms of hepatitis A may include nausea and/or vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowish color to skin and/or eyes, or joint pain.
Hepatitis E Viral Infection
Hepatitis E (hep E) is a type of hepatitis viral infection that includes hepatitis A, B, C, D, F, which is caused by the hepatitis E virus. Usually, you get (transmitted) hepatitis E from eating or drinking dirty or contaminated water. Hepatitis E can be very serious, especially if a woman is pregnant. Up to ¼ of women who are pregnant with the hep E virus can die from the infection. The signs and symptoms of hepatitis E infection are nausea and vomiting, brown or dark urine, stool changes jaundice (yellow eyes and skin), pain in the right side of the abdomen, dark or brown urine, and light-colored stool. Some people with hep E don’t have any symptoms so they don’t know that they are contagious. It takes about 6 weeks to recover from hep E. A person who has any type of hepatitis, including hepatitis E, should not drink any alcohol. Hep E complications are rare, but when they do occur they include severe (“fulminant”) hepatitis, liver failure, and death. Currently, no specific drugs or treatments are available for hepatitis E. Moreover, the only hepatitis E vaccine currently is available in China. Avoid alcohol, keep hydrated, and getting rest are home remedies for hepatitis E. Talk to your doctor before taking any over-the-counter (medications), especially those containing acetaminophen (Tylenol and others). Usually, the prognosis and life expectancy for hepatitis E after recovery is good. Most people do not have long term liver problems from the infection.
What Causes Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. It can occur due to a variety of factors, but the most common cause is a virus infection. The types of hepatitis are hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) and can have fatal complications. Early diagnosis, treatment and lifestyle modification can slow or inhibit the progression of the disease and reduce complications.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Hepatitis C FAQs
- Hepatitis A FAQs
- Hepatitis C News Release
- Chronic Viral Hepatitis, Alcoholism, Cirrhosis Linked to Liver Cancer
- Hepatitis A at Jam Band Concerts Alert
- Hepatitis C: Nightmare in Vegas
- IBS, GERD, Hepatitis C: Doctors Dialogue
- How common is Hepatitis C?
- How is diagnosis of Hepatitis C made?
- Hepatitis C : Can it be sexually transmitted?
- Hepatitis C: What blood tests?
- Hepatitis C genotypes
- Hepatitis C Treatments
- Hepatitis C: Most effective treatment
- Hepatitis C: Reasons for treating
- Hepatitis C: Interferon/ribavarin side effects
- Hepatitis C: Good candidates for treatment
- Do you treat hepatitis C patients with normal liver tests?
- Hepatitis C: Not Good Candidates for Treatment?
- Hepatitis C: Diet and Vitamins
- Hepatitis C: Should patients receive immunizations
- Hepatitis C treatment relapse
- What to do for relapsers after hepatitis C treatment?
- Hepatitis C: What is unique about hepatitis C?
- Can You Be Allergic to Ceclor for Hepatitis B?
- Can You Treat Hepatitis B With Aids Drug Lamivudine?
- Does Hepatitis B Cause Liver Cancer?
- What Kind of Doctor Do I See for Hepatitis C?
- Can The Hepatitis C Virus Survive Outside the Body?
Medications & Supplements
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.