What hepatitis C treatment is
Treatment for hepatitis C used to involve injections and taking tablets for a year. This had very bad side effects and only a 50% chance of working. This type of treatment is no longer used.
Treatment now takes between 8 to 12 weeks and is a course of tablets that have hardly any side effects.
These new tablets are highly effective at clearing the infection in more than 95% of people.
If you think you might have hepatitis C, you need to get tested.
If your test is positive and your doctor recommends treatment, you will be treated in one of these hospitals.
Find out what you need to get treatment.
1. Before treatment
You will get a date for a hospital for an appointment to discuss your treatment.
You will get the tablets free of charge in the hospital and staff will prepare you for treatment.
You can still get treatment if you're taking tablets for other illnesses. Tell the doctor or nurse if you are taking any other medication or using any other substances. Hepatitis C tablets can react with other medication.
2. During treatment
In most cases, treatment takes between 8 to 12 weeks. A small number of people need 24 weeks of treatment.
The nurse looking after you during your treatment will do some blood tests.
The doctor or nurse will tell you how much progress you are making.
The drugs used for hepatitis C treatment are direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). You take the drugs orally as little as once a day.
3. After treatment
After treatment you will go back to the hospital for a final check. This will confirm if the treatment has worked.