Hepatitis C Prognosis
Hepatitis C Prognosis: How Successful Is Treatment?
Studies have shown that about 40 to 80 percent of people have a successful response to treatment with combination therapy of peginterferon plus ribavirin. This means that no trace of the hepatitis C virus can be detected in their blood six months after finishing the treatment.
Each person's response to the peginterferon and ribavirin (if prescribed) will depend on several factors. For example, people with genotype 1 of the hepatitis C virus generally respond less well to combination therapy than people with other genotypes. On average, up to 50 percent of people with genotype 1 will have a sustained response to treatment. In comparison, the rate of successful treatment for people with other genotypes is about 75 to 80 percent.
For people with genotype 1, adding a hepatitis C protease inhibitor to peginterferon and ribavirin can increase the chance for successful treatment. Regimens involving sofosbuvir (Sovaldi™) can increase the chance as well, with studies showing success in 80 percent to 90 percent (or sometimes more) of people, depending on the regimen and the genotype.
Following the doctor's treatment instructions is a critical part of being a compliant patient, and can ultimately impact the chances of having a successful treatment.
Hepatitis C Prognosis: SummaryPatients with hepatitis C, as well as their loved ones, face many unknowns. Some people find it easier to cope when they know the statistics. Other people find statistical information confusing and frightening, and they think it is too impersonal to be of use to them. The doctor who is most familiar with a patient's situation is in the best position to discuss the hepatitis C prognosis and to explain what the statistics of hepatitis C may mean for that person. At the same time, it is important to understand that even the doctor cannot predict exactly what to expect.
Seeking information about the hepatitis C prognosis is a personal decision. It is up to each patient to decide how much information he or she wants and how to best use that information.