Hepatitis B: Causes, Treatment and Medication
Hepatitis B is a type of liver infection that is mainly caused by the virus HBV. It most commonly spreads when bodily fluids like semen or blood of an infected person enter inside an uninfected person’s body. Hepatitis B can be cured with the help of vaccines, and with chronic situations, high-level medication is required, and often, doctors may suggest a liver transplant.
Symptoms of Hepatitis B
Acute or short-term hepatitis B does not have many symptoms; rather, it does not show any. For example, children below the age of five do not show any symptoms if affected. Some symptoms of hepatitis B are as follows:
- Jaundice (The whites of your eyes and your skin turn yellow; your urine also turns orange or brown)
- Light-colored feces
- Fatigue that stays for many weeks as well as months
- Stomach problems like nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite
- Joint pain
- Belly pain
Displays of symptoms are very inconsistent; it can take one month or six months to show the symptoms if you are infected. Studies have revealed that most people do not feel anything when infected with hepatitis B. It can be found out only with the help of a blood test. Even the symptoms of chronic hepatitis B do not appear in most cases.
Causes of Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B mainly gets spread from one person to another when any body fluids are exchanged between them. Those ways are as follows:
- Sex: If you have sex without protection with the infected person, you will get infected as the body fluids, semen, and saliva will get inside you.
- Sharing needles: The virus can spread through contaminated needles with the infected blood.
- Pregnant women to a child: Pregnant women infected with Hepatitis B can easily transfer it to the baby while giving birth. So, infants are given Hepatitis B vaccines to prevent it.
Hepatitis B treatment and medicines
If you are infected with Hepatitis B, you must immediately consult a doctor; you can get relief with their treatment. The doctor will give you vaccines and the Hepatitis B immune globulin shot. This helps with improving your immune system so that it can fight the infection. As Hepatitis B affects the liver, you have to eliminate all those things that affect it, such as acetaminophen and alcohol. You should always consult with the doctor before taking any supplements, herbal treatments, or drugs. After you have recovered from hepatitis B, then you will become an inactive carrier, which means that any antibody test will reflect that you were infected with Hepatitis B before. Entecavir (Baraclude): This is the brand-new Hepatitis B drug. It is available as tablets or as liquids.
- Tenofovir (Viread): This medicine comes in tablets or powder form.
- Lamivudine (Heptovir, Epivir HBV, Epivir A/F, etc.): This comes in the form of a tablet or liquid that you have to take once every day.
- Adefovir dipivoxil (Hepsera): This is given to those patients who do not respond to Lamivudine.
- Interferon Alfa (Sylatron, Roferon A, Intron A): These are shots for boosting the immune system. It does not eliminate the disease; it treats the problems caused due to the disease, such as liver inflammation.
- Telbivudine (Tyzeka): This is an antiviral medicine.