Treatment for hepatitis B does not cure hepatitis B.
The treatment goals for patients with chronic hepatitis B are to forestall progression of liver disease, prevent late complications such as liver damage and ‘scarring’ of the liver (cirrhosis), liver failure, and HCC), and increase survival.
All of these objectives are achievable with long-term suppression of viral replication with either IFN-α or nucleos(t)ide analogs.
A liver specialist will usually advise on when treatment may be beneficial.
There are two types of treatment currently given:
- Interferon. Interferon helps to fight HBV infections by boosting your immune system. Interferon is usually given as an injection each week. Side effects are very common.
- Antiviral medicines. These work by stopping the hepatitis B virus from multiplying in the body. They include: lamivudine, adefovir, tenofovir and entecavir.
Your doctor will discuss these in more detail with you. Treatment with medicines is usually continued for many years.