Treatment of viral hepatitis depends on type of virus and also the nature of presentation.
Acute hepatitis: The liver will recover spontaneously with supportive treatment. Liver failure may develop in rare cases. Treatment depends on the type of virus.
Chronic Hepatitis B: Not all the patients with hepatitis B will require treatment, regular monitoring will identify patients who will need treatment to prevent damage to liver. If there is significant inflammation in the liver the physician may decide to start treatment, in some cases liver biopsy may be needed.
Both oral medicines and injections are used to treat Hepatitis B. The oral medicines are lamivudine, telbivudine, adefovir,entecavir and tenofovir.
The injections are Interferon injections.
Chronic Hepatitis C: The duration of treatment and the type of medicine required depends on the genotype of virus. The common medicines used in the treatment are Interferon and Ribavirin.
Newer oral drugs will be available soon in Singapore. They have the advantage of needing only oral forms and avoiding Interferon injections.