Hepatitis C Symptoms
Long term Infection with Hepatitis C (HCV) or chronic Hepatitis C:
Most if not all hepatitis C infection start at an acute phase. This phase of hepatitis C usually goes undiagnosed. However, the signs and symptoms as mentioned below usually occur after being exposed to the hepatitis C virus 1 to 3 months after exposure.
- yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
- spider like blood vessels on skin (spider angiomas)
- slurred speech
- weight loss
- fluid buildup in the abdomen (ascites)
- itchy skin
- dark colored urine
- poor appetite
- fatigue (tiredness)
- bleeding easily
- bruising easily
- muscle aches
Not all acute hepatitis C infections become chronic. Some fortunate individuals clear the hepatitis C virus in the acute phase. This is called spontaneous viral clearance and it occurs at a rate of 15% to 20% for acute hepatitis C patients.
95% of all acute hepatitis C patients based on their genotypes(learn more) can clear the virus with direct acting antivirals or DAAs.
There are many direct acting antivirals and all of them are cost prohibitive. The most popular hepatitis C treatment is called Harvoni. Harvoni is made of ledipasvir 90mg and sofosbuvir 400mg.
Harvoni, hepatitis C treatment, cost over $95,000 for 12 weeks treatment, that’s 84 tablets total. The other direct acting antivirals are equally expensive like Sovaldi, made of sofosbuvir 400mg. The pan genotype (for all genotypes) hepatitis C treatment is called Epclusa. Epclusa is made of velpatasvir 100mg and sofosbuvir 400mg.
The newest direct acting antiviral that has recently been approved by the FDA is Mavyret.
Mavyret is made of glecaprevir and pibrentasvir. Mavyret treats genotypes 1 through 6 who have cirrhosis or don’t have cirrhosis. Also those hepatitis C patients on dialysis. Mavyret is only an eight week treatment compared to Harvoni, Sovaldi and Epclusa.
The cost of Mavyret is approximately $27,000, almost $60,000 less than Harvoni, Sovaldi or Epclusa.