Hepatitis Forums

Hepatitis C Main Forums => On Hepatitis C Treatment => Topic started by: Midnightbanana on February 23, 2020, 02:41:44 pm

Title: Epclusa Side Effects
Post by: Midnightbanana on February 23, 2020, 02:41:44 pm
I'm posting this new topic since there isn't a specific and recent discussion about this. The other reason is to help anyone who is worried about side effects.

Short background. I don't know how or when the infection started by it probably was about 30 years ago. I found that my viral load was 3,521,606 and the genome is 1b. I have fibrosis (F2) and also have type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. I'm 70 years old, 5'8" and weigh 160. I'm fit for my age and walk for 45 mins every day, rain, snow or sunshine.

I'm now ending the 8th week of treatment with a little over 4 weeks to go. I kept a diary of my Epclusa experiences but after about 3 weeks of treatment, it no longer seemed necessary since there were no real problems of note. I've had some minor side effects as follows:

At the beginning there were mild headaches but nothing approaching severe. It never was bad enough that I took any Tylenol. Drinking water seems to help immediately and the possibility of getting a headache probably can be avoided just by drinking several glasses of water as a preventative measure. After the first 2 weeks, the headaches no longer happened.

I felt some irritability for the first weeks. This was mostly mild but there were a couple of times I got "snappy". The irritability became less after a couple of weeks.

My appetite actually seemed increased. Some people even reported gaining weight but this hasn't happened to me. My weight hasn't changed since I began treatment.

Sometimes I felt weakness yet most of the time, there's a sense of energy. During the night, this feeling of energy sometimes made it hard to get back to sleep. I use meditation and this helps to fall back asleep.

The most interesting side effect is vivid dreams. Years ago, I used to dream a lot but in recent years, this seemed less common. Enter the Epclusa and now I'm having really interesting and memorable dreams. I consider this a positive side effect!

All in all, I would call the side effects marginal and not at all life interfering. If anything, I feel more alert during the day and generally my sense of well being has improved. This leads me to believe that the viral load was dragging me down. Now that the viral load is much lower, my general health seems better. (The viral load was 20 after 4 weeks.)

I'm hoping to be finally free of Hep C. I been told the liver fibrosis they found will heal to some degree. I'm hoping for that too. With 4 weeks to go, I'm very optimistic now. This is so different from the anxiety and worry from when my Hep C was diagnosed. That was much worse than any side effects I've felt by far.

If anyone is worried about the side effects, my advice is to take a deep breath and go forward with a positive attitude. Eat well, take care to make your sleeping undisturbed and remember to drink water.

Good Luck! Don't let fear stop you from treatment. These new medications are amazingly successful. For some genomes, it is 99% or better. Stay strong, hang tough and beat Hep C!
Title: Re: Epclusa Side Effects
Post by: KimInTheForest on March 01, 2020, 01:40:33 pm
That's a great positive message. Thanks for sharing. And I hope the remainder of your treatment goes smoothly! :)

Title: Re: Epclusa Side Effects
Post by: Midnightbanana on March 01, 2020, 04:05:06 pm
Thank you Kim! I followed the 'MY STORY' link and all I can say is Wow! The spontaneous first thought I had was "welcome back!" Your words about suffering loss of access to your literary memories and their return was very moving.

I know of what you speak. There were many days of just slogging through and in my case, the cause was unknown for years. I know the experience, intimately, of being unable to find words while writing to friends or speaking with someone. Recently my mind has sharpened and it is such a great thing to return to being oneself.

Thank you for sharing your gifts and experience. :)
Title: Re: Epclusa Side Effects
Post by: KimInTheForest on March 01, 2020, 04:46:46 pm
I'm just glad we both made it through! :)