Monday, July 18, 2016

Tuscaloosa VA helps vets battle hepatitis C

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. —The Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs hospital is working to provide patients with breakthrough treatments to combat hepatitis C.

Approximately 4 million Americans are faced with hepatitis C, and many more may not be aware of having it.

Experts said it's a viral infection that causes the liver to become inflamed and is typically spread through blood-to-blood contact.

David Alldredge has dealt with it for more than a decade. He tried self-injections and tablets, but no luck.

"And that went on for about seven to eight months," he said. "I lost probably about 38 to 40 pounds on the treatment."

The Tuscaloosa VA is making sure veterans know all treatment options, including  seven relatively new medications on the market, that come as a pill and can be taken once a day for 12 weeks.

"In the long run, this is something that benefits you for the remainder of your life. Your quality of life is something that we all have valuable," said Brittany Barnes, a clinical pharmacy specialist for the Tuscaloosa VA.

Side effects of the new drugs include headache, nausea, insomnia and fatigue.

Hepatitis C can quickly turn into something worse, like cirrhosis, the scarring of the liver.

Alldredge is hopeful about the new treatments.

"It sounds like it's greatly improved, especially just an oral medication now," he said.

The Tuscaloosa VA said the cure rate with these new drugs is 98 percent. Before, it was just 60 percent.

No comments:

Post a Comment