Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is a viral type of hepatitis, just as Hepatitis C is, which causes inflammation of the liver and is transmitted through infected blood or body fluids. However, there is a vaccination available for Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can be either an acute or chronic infection. An estimated 850,000 to 2.2 million people in the U.S. have chronic hepatitis B.
- Acute Hepatitis B – Is a short-term illness that usually resolves on its own within 6 months after infection. Medications are not used for the treatment of Acute Hepatitis B, but often physicians recommend bed rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and maintaining a healthy diet. Acute infection does not always, but can lead to chronic infection.
- Chronic Hepatitis B – Is a long-term illness in which the Hepatitis B virus remains in a person’s body. Chronic Hepatitis B can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure.
People with acute or chronic infection may, or may not, have any symptoms. If symptoms occur, they may include fever, tiredness, nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). There are now several medication options available for the treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B. The best prevention for Hepatitis B is vaccination. The Hepatitis B vaccine is usually given in 3 shots over a 6 month period. Routine vaccination is recommended for children and adolescents under age 18, and high risk groups of all ages.
HPC offers the following specialty therapies for the treatment of Hepatitis B:
- Epivir® HBV
Visit the following sites for additional information on Hepatitis B: