Knowing The Two Types Of Hepatitis B
There are usually two types of Hepatitis B infections: an acute hepatitis B infection and a chronic hepatitis B infection. Actuate hepatitis B is usually not life-threatening and doesn't require medicines for treating the disease. Unfortunately, hepatitis B may sometimes damage the liver too much to the point where a liver transplant may be in order. In these cases, lamivudine would be the most effective medicine for this specific type of situation. If someone were to have a chronic hepatitis B infection, medicines are rarely used. The person with the infection may be monitored regularly in order to observe the disease. Medicines will be required however if the disease is starting to cause liver failure. Medication may also be required if a patient has hepatitis B e-antigen. Not many studies have been made in order to find out if medication can be used in order to treat hepatitis B earlier on. Medicines may be able to effectively destroy some of the viruses in a patient’s body, however, making it better to take medication early on to prevent further complications.
What Are The Medicines Available Today Against Hepatitis B?
A person may undergo many different tests in order to find out if the medications for the patient are working. If the patient is easily exposed to other people with viruses, the virus may spread and complications may occur. This is why the person will be heavily monitored throughout the whole process. Many medicine treatments against hepatitis B are currently under development today but unfortunately, most of them have not been tried and tested enough yet to prove their effectiveness. Currently, only interferons and nucleoside analogs are the only medications that have been proven effective against hepatitis B.
Benefits Of Current Medications Against Hepatitis B
The current medication against hepatitis B is the drug Interferon-alpha. This has been the longest used medication to treat hepatitis B. This happens to be a protein that occurs inside the body naturally. This protein helps combat and fight viruses that enter the body. Older variants of the interferon alpha protein have been proven to be more ineffective compared to the newest interferon alpha protein agent, the Pegintron. The Pegintron is more effective in treating hepatitis B because of the period of time it suppresses the disease and because of the speed of its effects. This variant of interferon-alpha can only be taken once every week in a span of 48 weeks total.
The Side Effects Of The Interferon Alpha Medication
There are many different side effects that can be contracted from taking the interferon alpha protein medication in order to fight hepatitis B. These side effects should be taken seriously as many of them could prevent the patient from further taking the medication because of the severity of the side effects that the interferon alpha. These side effects include the following:
- Sudden loss of energy and muscle pains in the body
- Sudden fever and appetite loss
- Sudden mood swings also occur. Depression and paranoia are common as well.
- Lessening of the hormones produced by the thyroid gland
- Infection of small wounds both inside and outside the body
- Loss of hair is also a common side effect
The side effects mentioned here are quite potent. These side effects may push a patient to stop taking medication. These side effects, however, are a good sign that the medicine is actually working. Unfortunately, the interferon alpha might cause a slight chance of damaging the patient's liver and therefore putting them at risk. This is why patients with past records of liver diseases are not advised to take interferon alpha because of how the medication may damage the liver of the patient.