If you concern about Hepatitis B, let take a closer look at the treatment, lifestyle and home remedies for this condition.
Treatment of hepatitis B infection depends on the stage at which the disease is recognized and whether you are at risk for liver damage such as cirrhosis.
Treatment to prevent hepatitis B infection after exposure
If you already know that you’ve been exposed to the hepatitis B virus (HBV), contact to your doctor without delay. If you haven’t been vaccinated or aren’t sure whether you’ve got it or whether you responded to the vaccination, receiving an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin within 12 hours after exposure to the virus may help you prevent the infection. You should get the first of three shots of the hepatitis B vaccine at the same time.
Treatment for acute hepatitis B infection
If your hepatitis B infection is acute — meaning it is short-lived and will disappear on its own — treatment with antiviral medicine usually isn’t needed. You are recommended to rest, take adequate nutrition and fluids, and avoid alcohol and drugs while your body fights the infection.
In some cases, you may be given medicine to treat an acute infection. However, using medicine usually isn’t common unless a person is very sick.
Treatment for chronic hepatitis B infection
If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B infection, you may have treatment to suppress HBV replication, induce remission of liver disease and prevent you from transmitting the infection to others. Treatments include:
- Antiviral medications. It is used if the virus is active and you are at high risk for liver damage. Several antiviral medications including lamivudine (Epivir), adefovir (Hepsera), telbivudine (Tyzeka) and entecavir (Baraclude) can help fight the virus and the ability of HBV to multiply. Ask your doctor for the right medication for you.
- Interferon alfa-2b (Intron A). This is a man-made copy of a protein that your body makes to fight infection. Intron A is used mainly for young people with hepatitis B who don’t want to receive long-term treatment or who might want to get pregnant within a few years. This medication is given by injection into a muscle or under the skin. Side effects may include fever, depression, difficulty breathing and chest tightness. Treatment with Intro A is not recommended if you are using illegal drugs or drinking too much alcohol.
- Liver transplant. Liver transplantation is the treatment of choice for patients with severe liver disease or complications such as cirrhosis. During a liver transplant, the surgeon replaces the damaged liver with a healthy one. Most donated livers come from deceased donors—donors who have recently died, while a small number of liver transplants are performed using living donors.
Other drugs to treat hepatitis B are being developed.
Lifestyle and home remedies
If you’ve been infected with hepatitis B, follow the steps below to protect others from the virus.
- Make sex safer. If you’re sexually active, let your partner know that you have HBV and talk about the risk of passing it to him or her. Use a new latex or polyurethane condom every time you have sex. However, note that condoms can reduce but don’t eliminate the risk.
- Tell your sexual partner to get tested. Anyone who used to be your sexual partner needs to be tested for the virus. Your partners also need to know their HBV status so that they don’t transmit the virus to others.
- Never share implements. If you use IV drugs, remember not to share needles and syringes. And don’t share razor blades or toothbrushes, which may carry traces of infected blood. If you get a piercing or tattoo, look for a reputable shop.