Hepatitis C is a common, dangerous virus that attacks the liver. Long-term Hepatitis C, although common, is curable. Earlier Hepatitis C medications and treatments had several severe and crippling side effects, but since 2014, the treatment has improved, and the new drugs are fewer, milder and safer. However, even now, the side of effects of Hepatitis C medicine are manifold and may even lead to severe complications if not addressed timely. Here are the five most common side effects of the Hepatitis C medicine:
Physical Side Effects
The most common physical side effects from Hepatitis C drugs include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, stomach problems like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dry mouth, thick saliva, mouth ulcers, and poor appetite. These are triggered by commonly used Hepatitis C medicine such as Harvoni, Ribavirin, Boceprevir (used in combination with Ribavirin or Interferon), and Mayvret. The physical side effects of the hepatitis C medicine can be managed by a well balanced, nutritious diet and by drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Mental Side Effects
Drugs like Interferon often stimulate certain parts of the brain that may trigger sleep problems like insomnia which may then lead to related issues like anxiety, mood swings, depression, and irritation or short temper. Doctors can help patients manage these mental side effects by maintaining regular sleep schedule and using relaxation techniques.
Skin Related Side Effects
The side of effects of the Hepatitis C medicine may sometimes appear as skin related issues like skin rashes, dry skin, itching, and hair fall.
Several Hepatitis C drugs may lead to side effects that are exhibited as flu-like symptoms like fever, fatigue, headache, chills, and muscle ache. These symptoms can be managed using drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) under the doctor’s supervision.
Low blood cell counts and other serious side-effects
The side effects of the Hepatitis C medicine may sometimes include low blood cell counts and in some instances shortness of breath, liver problems, thyroid problems, and vision changes. In such cases of severe side effects, one must consult a doctor immediately.