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Does everyone with chronic hepatitis B need to take medicine?

Not everyone with chronic hepatitis B needs treatment. Every person should be carefully evaluated by a doctor with experience treating people living with hepatitis B. There are often few or no symptoms for decades, so the only way to know for sure is to get specific blood tests to learn more about your hepatitis B infection and the health of your liver.

Tests may include

  • Hepatitis B-specific blood tests such as HBsAg, HBsAb, HBeAg, HBeAb, HBV DNA, qHBsAg,
  • Liver-specific blood tests such as those that check for liver damage (ALT/AST), and those that evaluate liver function.
  • Diagnostic imaging such as ultrasound and/or Fibroscan may also be used to help determine the health of the liver.

    Your doctor will also want to know if there is a family history of liver disease or liver cancer. An experienced doctor looks at the results of these tests in relation to each other to determine if you would benefit from currently available treatments. Your doctor might also refer to one of the professional Clinical Guidelinesdeveloped by professional medical organizations to provide guidance to doctors treating people diagnosed or living with hepatitis B.

You should also make sure to support your liver by following a healthy lifestyle, avoid alcohol, avoid smoking, eating healthy and getting regular exercise. Here is more information on how to maintain a healthy liver.

The below medicines are the ones approved for treatment of hepatitis B. these medicines are not cure for hepatitis B. They work by controlling viral replication and consequently reducing the risk of liver damage. View our Treatment Options page for more information.

  • Antivirals: Tenofovir disoproxil (Viread), Entecavir (Baraclude), Tenofovir alafenamide (Vemlidy), Lamivudine (Epivir).
  • Interferons: Alpha or Pegylated forms.

 


Find more Frequently Asked Questions here

Page updated 02/09/2022