What is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection which can lead to liver failure, liver cancer or cirrhosis (scarring of the liver). Infants and children are more likely than adults to develop one of these chronic (long term) conditions. There is no cure for Hepatitis B but there is a vaccine available to prevent the disease.
What are the causes?
- Hepatitis B virus can be transmitted by contact with blood or bodily fluids of someone who is infected. Women can pass the virus to their children during childbirth.
Treatments for Hepatitis B:
- Within 24 hours of being exposed to the virus you can receive an injection of Hepatitis B immune globulin to help protect you from developing Hepatitis B.
- Liver transplant – if the liver has been severely damaged, a liver transplant is a treatment option. The transplant will replace a damaged liver and medications can be taken to prevent Hepatitis B from coming back. These procedures have become increasingly more successful.
- Interferon – to boost your body’s immune response to the Hepatitis B virus and prevent the virus from replicating in your cells
- Tyzeka – an antiviral medicine to prevent the virus from replicating in your cells
- Baraclude – an antiviral medicine
- Epivir HBV – an older, weaker antiviral medicine
- Hepsera – prevents the virus from replicating in your cells
What can I do?
- Encourage a healthy diet, regular exercise and plenty of sleep
- Avoid giving your child medicines that can cause liver damage (like Tylenol)
- Follow the treatment plan your doctor has given you
- Contact your doctor if symptoms appear to worsen
It is important to remember the health information found on this Web site is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your health care provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a true medical emergency, call 911 immediately.
- Weakness and Fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain or discomfort (on the right side of the stomach below the ribs)
- Loss of appetite
- Dark urine
- Joint pain
- Jaundice (yellow coloring on the skin and whites of the eyes)