Treatment to prevent hepatitis B infection after exposure
If you know you've been exposed to the hepatitis B virus, call your doctor immediately. Receiving an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin within 24 hours of coming in contact with the virus may help protect you from developing hepatitis B.
Treatment for acute hepatitis B infection
If your doctor determines your hepatitis B infection is acute — meaning it is short-lived and will go away on its own — you may not need treatment. Instead, your doctor will work to reduce any signs and symptoms you experience while your body fights the infection. Your doctor may recommend follow-up blood tests to make sure the virus has left your body.
Treatment for chronic hepatitis B infection
If you've been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B infection, your doctor may recommend:
Sep. 01, 2011
- Antiviral medications. Antiviral medications help fight the virus and slow its ability to damage your liver. Several medications are available. Your doctor can suggest which medications may be most appropriate for you.
- Liver transplant. If your liver has been severely damaged, a liver transplant may be an option. During a liver transplant, the surgeon removes your damaged liver and replaces it with a healthy liver. Most transplanted livers come from deceased donors, though a small number come from living donors.
- Perillo R. Hepatitis B and D. In: Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed July 25, 2011.
- Lok ASF, et al. Chronic hepatitis B: Update 2009. Hepatology. 2009;50:1.
- Hepatitis B FAQs for the public. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/B/bFAQ.htm. Accessed July 25, 2011.
- What I need to know about hepatitis B. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hepb_ez/. Accessed July 25, 2011.
- Hepatitis B. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/hepatitis-b/tab/glance. Accessed Aug. 1, 2011.
- Milk thistle. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/milkthistle/ataglance.htm. Accessed July 25, 2011.