With the new generation of drugs, managing the side effects generated by Hepatitis C has undoubtedly become easier, compared to the days when interferon was the only possible treatment against the HCV virus. In the past, in fact, counteracting these manifestations played a fundamental role in the success of the treatment of hepatitis C; today, there are precise indications in this regard, so the patient can deal with any possible side effect thanks to the experience and support of a medical team.
These side effects will not necessarily be the same for every patient, and they are not necessarily serious.
Of course, knowing the main best practices to adopt to control these effects will help in managing some of the more common side effects of hepatitis C treatment.
In case of Fatigue, we recommend: rest (as soon as possible); vary your work schedule (if necessary); regularly practice low-impact exercises (short walks); eat balanced meals and drink plenty of fluids.
In case of Insomnia, it is recommended: to have a regular routine (standard times of sleep / wake up); relaxing (meditation, hot baths or massages, reading or listening to music), avoiding physical exercises, caffeine-based products, heavy meals; limit liquid drinks in the 2 hours before going to bed; take over-the-counter medications that are recommended (such as Benadryl) or prescribed by your doctor.
In cases where Coughing becomes a problem, a humidifier can help maintain healthier air in the house, as well as drinking more water or caffeine-free beverages thinning the oropharyngeal cavity better. In pharmacies, cough drops or sugar-free hard candies are still valid.
If the Appetite is low: eat smaller and / or more frequent meals; eat foods to your taste, especially snacks and high-protein drinks.
Against the onset of Rashes and Dry skin, in general, long hot showers / baths should be avoided. Mild soaps (Dove or Cetaphil), emollient post-bath lotions specifically for dry skin, hydrocortisone creams or other anti-itch drugs are preferred. Similarly, for washing your clothes, specific laundry detergents for sensitive skin are on the market. Particular attention should be paid to skin rashes, which could be a first sign of an allergic reaction, to be reported immediately to your doctor.
When the patient has Nausea and Vomiting, it is advisable to eat small meals, trying to avoid those smells that cause nausea. Spicy, fatty, sweet or acidic foods should also be completely eliminated (if nausea causes problems in the morning, we recommend dry crackers). Rather, drinking ginger ale or ginger tea can help overcome nausea. Take ribavirin with food, and any other over-the-counter medicines recommended by your doctor.
If Diarrhea occurs, the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) will provide more soluble fiber to the patient. Spicy or acidic food should be avoided, while it is necessary to drink a lot (only drinks without caffeine). Loperamide (Immodium) or psyllium (Metamucil) are the most recommended common drug remedies.