Therapeutic alternatives to control hepatitis C

23 August, 2018

Currently there are antiviral treatments against chronic hepatitis C (pegylated interferon + ribavirin + inhibitors) with a favorable response in 75% of cases. However, these treatments can have important side effects and contraindications for its administration.

Therefore, until new drugs appear, it is necessary to look for therapeutic alternatives to control the disease. There are different strategies to achieve this goal.

It has been shown that phlebotomies (blood extraction in a similar amount to donation) can be very effective. With this approach, up to 69% of patients with hepatitis C normalize transaminases, with improvement in liver biopsy and decreased risk of developing liver cancer. Also ursodeoxycholic acid (a drug that decreases liver inflammation) is useful for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. In several studies it has been shown that this drug at a dose of 20-30 mg / kg of weight and per day improves the liver analysis (transaminases) and may decrease the likelihood of liver cancer with few side effects. Also vitamin E, administered orally, can induce normalization of transaminases especially if they have deficit thereof.

There are natural products from plants and fruits (artichoke, grapefruit, blueberries, spirulina) that are not effective in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C despite popular beliefs.

It is also important to correct the metabolic disorders that patients with hepatitis C have since they contribute to increase inflammation of the liver. Thus, if there is an increase in cholesterol, triglycerides or glucose, they should be treated with diet and medications (statins, etc.). It is also important to change the habits of life. For example, obesity worsens hepatitis C and should be corrected with a weight-loss diet. On the other hand, the practice of exercise should be recommended at least 3 hours per week since it has been shown (even without weight loss) that it contributes to reduce inflammation of the liver in hepatitis C. In relation to eating habits, demonstrated that taking 2-4 cups of coffee (with caffeine) a day helps prevent the progression of hepatitis C. Finally, alcohol intake and smoking are totally prohibited because they worsen the disease.

In summary, there are effective actions to control hepatitis C in the absence of antiviral drugs.

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