How do I treat my hepatitis B?
Not every patient with chronic hepatitis B needs to be on medication. Although there is no cure yet for chronic hepatitis B, treatment when indicated can prevent disease progression and reduce the risk of liver cancer. Regular screening for liver damage is necessary to determine if and when initiation of HBV treatment is appropriate. Initiation of antiviral therapy with tenofovir or entecavir (a pill a day) is indicated if there is evidence of liver damage with elevated ALT and hepatitis B DNA level, or cirrhosis.
Additionally, antiviral therapy is recommended to prevent flare up of the hepatitis B infection and the risk of liver failure for persons receiving hepatitis C treatment or immunosuppressive therapy including cancer chemotherapy. Antiviral therapy is also recommended to further reduce the risk of perinatal transmission in pregnant women with high hepatitis B DNA level (>200,000 IU/mL).