What Are the Treatment Options for Hepatitis B?


Quick Answer

While an acute hepatitis B infection is of short duration and does not usually require treatment, doctors treat a chronic hepatitis B infection with antiviral medications or the drug Interferon alfa-2b. In extreme cases, a liver transplant is necessary, explains Mayo Clinic.

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What Are the Treatment Options for Hepatitis B?
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Full Answer

Patients with an acute hepatitis B infection require rest, food and fluids so that the body can fight off the infection, states Mayo Clinic. The goals of treatment for a chronic hepatitis B infection are to stave off liver damage and prevent the infection from spreading to others. Antiviral medications attack the virus and reduce the ability of the infection to damage the liver. Examples of these medications are lamivudine, adefovir, telbivudine and enticavir.

Interferon alfa-2b, also known as Intron A, is a man-made form of a material that the human body makes to fight off infection, reports Mayo Clinic. Its primary use is in younger patients not inclined to undertake long-term treatment of hepatitis B and in women who want to become pregnant in the near future. Administration of interferon alfa-2b is via an injection.

In cases where the liver sustains critical injury as a result of the infection, a liver transplant is the best option, says Mayo Clinic. A surgeon removes the damaged liver and puts a healthy liver in its place.

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