- Intron A (alpha干扰素) 是一种注射药物， 一周注射数次，用六个月到一年，有时或更久，此药可能会引起象感冒﹑忧郁症和头痛一样症状的副作用，于1991年批准，可用于儿童和成人。
- Pegasys (pegylated interferon：聚乙二醇化干扰素) 是一种注射药物，每周注射一次，通常要连续注射六个月到1年。这种药可能会有副作用，如流感症状、抑郁症和其它心理健康问题。此药于2005年5月获得批准，并仅供成人使用。
- Epivir-HBV 或 Zeffix (lamivudine) 是一种口服药片，一天服用一次，几乎没有副作用﹐服用至少一年或一年以上。主要问题是治疗时和治疗后可能会发生乙型肝炎病毒变异。于1998 年批准，可用于儿童和成人。
- Hepsera (adefovir dipivoxil) 是一种口服药片，一天服用一次，副作用很少，服用至少一年或一年以上。主要问题是服用此药可能会发生肾脏问题。于2002 年9月批准，仅可用于成人。儿科临床试验正在进行中。
- Baraclude (entecavir：恩替卡韦) 是一种每日服用的片剂，可连续服用长达一年而几乎没有任何副作用。这种药在目前用来治疗慢性乙型肝炎的口服抗病毒药物中，被普遍认为是药效最强的一种。此药于2005年4月获得批准，并仅供成人使用。今后可能要进行儿科临床试验。
- Tyzeka (telbivudine) 是一种每日服用的片剂，可连续服用一年而几乎没有任何副作用。研究显示该药能迅速有效地抑制乙肝病毒。于2006年10月批准用于成人。
- Viread (tenofovir) 是一种每日服用的片剂，可连续服用一年而几乎没有任何副作用。研究显示该药能迅速有效地抑制乙肝病毒。于2008年8月批准用于成人。
Hepatitis B and the
Why are the Chinese at greater risk than Westerners?
Because there are more Asian people already infected with hepatitis B than Westerners. Although hepatitis B is not an "Asian disease", it affects hundreds of millions of Asians. Since the Asian community starts with such a large number of infected people, there are more people who can pass the hepatitis B virus on to others. This increases the risk that you could get infected. Since there is a smaller number of Westerners who are infected, this group has a lower risk of infection. For more information, please click Dr. Tso Talks About Hepatitis B And The Chinese Community.
How is hepatitis B spread differently among the Chinese?
Asians and Westerners can both get hepatitis B through contact with blood, unprotected sex, shared needles, and from an infected mother to newborn baby during delivery. Jobs and lifestyle choices can create an equal risk for both groups. However, hepatitis B is often spread differently among Asians. Asians are most commonly infected as newborns - from a mother who unknowingly passes the virus on during delivery. Young children are also at risk if they live in close daily contact with an infected family member. Babies and children are more likely to develop a chronic hepatitis B infection because their young immune systems have trouble getting rid of the virus. Westerners are most commonly infected as young adults through unprotected sex. As adults, their immune systems can usually get rid of the virus and they "recover" from an infection.
What does it mean to be a "chronic carrier" of hepatitis B?
People who are unable to get rid of the hepatitis B virus are diagnosed as being a "chronic carrier". The virus can stay in their blood and liver for a long time. They can unknowingly pass the virus on to other people. Chronic hepatitis B can also lead to serious liver diseases, such as cirrhosis or liver cancer. Not every chronic carrier will develop serious liver disease. However, they have a greater chance than someone who is not infected.
Why should Chinese people be worried about chronic hepatitis B infections?Because chronic hepatitis B can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. It's important to get tested because early diagnosis can lead to early treatment which can save your life. Also, chronic carriers can spread the virus to others. Since most chronic carriers don't know they are infected, they are unknowingly spreading it to many other people. If people are not tested, hepatitis B can pass through several generations in one family and throughout the community.
How can I stop the spread of hepatitis B?
The good news is that you can break the cycle of infection in your family and in the Chinese community. Get tested for hepatitis B. Make sure everyone in your family is vaccinated against hepatitis B. Get the vaccine yourself. Look for good medical care. Discuss treatment options with your family doctor or a liver specialist if you already have chronic hepatitis B.
Are there any treatments if I have chronic hepatitis B?
Currently, there are seven approved drugs in the United States for people who have chronic hepatitis B infections. These drugs are also available in China:
- Interferon-alpha (Intron A) is given by injection several times a week for six months to a year, or sometimes longer. The drug can cause side effects such as flu-like symptoms, depression, and headaches. Approved in 1991 and available for both children and adults.
- Pegylated Interferon (Pegasys) is given by injection once a week usually for six months to a year. The drug can cause side effects such as flu-like symptoms, depression and other mental health problems. Approved May 2005 and available only for adults.
- Lamivudine Epivir-HBV, Zeffix, or Heptodin) is a pill that is taken once a day, with almost no side effects, for at least one year or longer. A primary concern is the possible development of hepatitis B virus mutants during and after treatment. Approved in 1998 and available for both children and adults.
- Adefovir dipivoxil (Hepsera) is a pill taken once a day, with few side effects, for at least one year or longer. The primary concern is that kidney problems can occur while taking the drug. Approved September 2002 and available only for adults. Pediatric clinical trials are being planned.
- Entecavir (Baraclude) is a pill taken once a day, with almost no side effects for up to one year. It is considered to be the most potent oral antiviral drug for chronic hepatitis B to date. Approved April 2005 and available only for adults. Pediatric clinical trials may be planned for the future.
- Telbivudine (Tyzeka) is a pill taken once a day, with almost no side effects. Approved October 2006 and available only for adults. Pediatric clinical trials may be planned for the future.
- Tenofovir (Viread) is a pill taken once a day, with few side effects, for at least one year or longer. Approved August 2008 for adults.
It is important to know, not every chronic hepatitis B patient needs to be on medication. Some patients only need to be monitored by their doctor on a regular basis (at least once a year, or more). Other patients with active signs of liver disease may benefit the most from treatment. Be sure to talk to your doctor about whether you could benefit from treatment and discuss the treatment options. In addition, there are promising new drugs in clinical trials and in the research pipeline.
However, it is vital that all people with chronic hepatitis B visit their doctor on a regular basis, whether they receive treatment or not!