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Doctors: New medication could avoid complications from hepatitis C

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Hepatitis C is a virus that has spread throughout the Baby Boomer population and nearly half of those infected don’t know they were exposed to it decades ago.

Hepatitis C can trigger potentially fatal liver diseases.

Unfortunately, you can have the disease for years before symptoms appear.

One of the main treatment options is an injectable drug, which is called interferon, but its side effects are so severe only half of patients can tolerate it.

Now, a new class of medication is on the horizon.

Patients take a pill once a day and are done with treatment in a matter of weeks, instead of months.

Pierre Gholam, M.D, at UH Case Medical Center, said, “Will allow many patients to avoid the complications of liver disease down the line, which include the development of cirrhosis and need for a liver transplant and liver cancer.”

The new drug is expected to be approved by the FDA by the end of the month.

Some patients will still need interferon injections, along with the medication.

Since hepatitis C is so common among Baby Boomers, the CDC recommends anyone born between 1945 and 1965 get tested for the virus.