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Welcome to the Hep Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people who have Hepatitis B, C or a co-infection, their friends and family and others with questions about hepatitis and liver health. Check in frequently to read what others have to say, post your comments, and hopefully learn more about how you can reach your own health goals.

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Author Topic: New to Forums- seeking tx soon + a few questions  (Read 2311 times)

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Offline Zara9407

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New to Forums- seeking tx soon + a few questions
« on: April 21, 2018, 10:40:14 pm »
 Hi!  I’m new to the forums and thought I’d introduce myself as well as ask a couple questions all in one post :)

I’m a 36 year old Single Mom and I was diagnosed with Hep C in 2013.  My genotype is 2b but I admittedly know little as to what that means in regards to symptoms, treatments and prognosis. 

I live in Philadelphia, PA which is home to a few nationally renowned hospitals—one of which specializes in Hep C treatment—Jefferson University Hospital.   I have my first appointment on May 1, 2018 to discuss my treatment options.

I was diagnosed by my GP who also tested for my genotype and routine liver functioning/viral loads etc.  When I was first diagnosed in ‘13, my labs did not indicate I needed immediate treatment and I was told newer, more “successful” treatments would be FDA approved so I might be better off waiting until then.....and so I waited and waited.  More like spent years in denial while secretly hoping this “reminder of my past” would miraculously go away on its own.   Now, 5 years later I’m ready to take the steps to rid my body of this virus, hopefully once and for all.

I have a history of mental illness, specifically an Eating Disorder and PTSD which left me unable to work and I’m currently on SSI/SSDI.  I mention this because my depression (also dx bipolar but who knows?) has been VERY difficult to treat, especially when compounded by Complex PTSD.  I take some medications that are for off labeled use in order to treat my depression which lately has become resistant to those medications as well. 

(My GP has also diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but I am not sold on either diagnosis, especially the former.)

I have many new physical symptoms that have alarmed my (new) doctors as they do not know of my Hep C diagnosis.  The GP who diagnosed me with HepC says these symptoms could be due to an autoimmune disorder, as the others are suggesting or they could be the result of my Hep C.

This recent increase in symptomology is one major reason I am seeking treatment now.  (To either arrest these symptoms or know for sure that something else is likely going on).  The 2nd reason is because I am planning on finishing my masters degree in Spring 2019 and the application process needs to be completed in the next couple months.

I had to drop out of my graduate studies when I unknowingly dated & married a Narcissistic Sociopath who is now my ex husband.  After years of mental, physical, sexual & emotional abuse as well as other torturous things he put me through, I was again diagnosed with PTSD.
only recently have I felt well enough to continue my graduate school studies which will hopefully lead to a fulfilling career in Social Work (w/an emphasis in Domestic Violence Treatment) as Id graduate with an MSW + a state certification in DV.....and a career that will also financially support both me and my young daughter. 


***
I have read a lot of conflicting information regarding Hep C treatment so id greatly appreciate anyone who can answer these whether anecdotally or with research QUESTIONS:

- What Treatments are available, specifically for Genotype 2B?
- Any Significant Side Effects?
- Average Length of Tx?
- Any medications used to help alleviate these side effects?

- does it seem feasible for me to complete Hep C treatment in time to start graduate school in January of 2019 and/or can I undergo treatment while taking advanced degree coursework?

- Depression? Fatigue? Issues??

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read my post and for any advice and/or information you provide...

Current & Recent Meds:
- Adderall IR 60mgs (30mg x2 day)
- Lyrica 150mgs (I take off and on)
- Prozac 60mgs (recently stopped taking)
- Klonopin 4mgs or Valium 20 mgs per day
- Antipsychotic meds to augment SSRI (recently stopped taking)
- Lithium 300-600mgs (stopped taking 2 months ago)
- Ambien- 15mgs at night (PRN)

Offline Lynn K

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  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: New to Forums- seeking tx soon + a few questions
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2018, 01:45:27 am »
I think the drug interaction questions would be best directed to your doctor.

Here is a link to the current AASLD treatment recommendations for genotype 2

https://www.hcvguidelines.org/treatment-naive/gt2/no-cirrhosis

The drugs are listed by their official names not the insurance sold under

The first med is sold as Mavyret treatment is 8 weeks

Here is the prescribing information sheet for Mavyret

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/209394s000lbl.pdf

The second med listed is Epclusa the recommended treatment duration is 12 weeks.

Here is some info about this med

http://www.epclusa.com/what-is-epclusa

Most healthy people in general have few side effects the most commonly reported being some mild headaches which can be prevented or reduced by keeping properly hydrated. Some folks have a more difficult time with treatment but this is less common.

With your history again I would recommend discussing this with your treating physician.

Good luck
Genotype 1a
1978 contracted, 1990 Dx
1995 Intron A failed
2001 Interferon Riba null response
2003 Pegintron Riba trial med null response
2008 F4 Cirrhosis Bx
2014 12 week Sov/Oly relapse
10/14 fibroscan 27 PLT 96
2014 24 weeks Harvoni 15 weeks Riba
5/4/15 EOT not detected, ALT 21, AST 20
4 week post not detected, ALT 26, AST 28
12 week post NOT DETECTED (07/27/15)
ALT 29, AST 27 PLT 92
24 week post NOT DETECTED! (10/19/15)
44 weeks (3/11/16)  fibroscan 33, PLT 111, HCV NOT DETECTED!
I AM FREE!

Offline Mugwump

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  • My number of posts means nothing, piscor ergo sum!
Re: New to Forums- seeking tx soon + a few questions
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2018, 12:49:53 am »
Just a  word of encouragement from someone who went through hell in much the same way until I was cured of HCV in early 2015.

During the 25 or so years I was infected and did not know it, I had many issues that were most likely due to my immune system fighting HCV. I was most likely infected no later than mid 1970 when I was still 18.

I was lucky and made the rational decision to split with the entire drug scene altogether permanently and have never given blood in my life. I had learned from a great psychologist I was seeing at the time in 1970, that the behavior I was engaging in may indeed be the cause of unknown hepatic illnesses!

Since then:

My thyroid has been irradiated because I was incorrectly diagnosed with having non clinical Graves disease. I constantly lost work time and employment because of periods of weird inexplicable muscle weakness and inexplicable flu like symptoms.

Most of this was going on long before HCV was isolated as a virus, so I came to believe that all my weird symptoms were psychologically induced.

Much of my key issues were being caused by my immune system attacking my thyroid gland and slowly causing it to go out of whack and create far too much thyroid hormone in my system.

Your issues sound very similar to mine regarding how HCV might be effecting your body. If your doctor has not done a thyroid hormone and sequential thyroid stimulating hormone panel on you yet it might be a good idea to get your thyroid functions checked.

It was very difficult for me and for that matter all the doctors I saw from age 20 till age 41 to get to the bottom of all the issues I was having. I am now age 65 and very lucky to be alive at all. 

The final diagnosis of HCV in 1993 started to bring some understanding of just exactly what the hell was going on with my immune system and other essential metabolic process in my body all the time. So my formative adult years were stolen by what HCV inflicts upon a fair number of us who are infected.

All the best sorting though things soon and getting yourself free from this god forsaken virus that can steal much more than ones physical health.

Eric

Caution shameless self promotion below :-)
https://www.hepmag.com/article/eric-reesor-27742-782589663
DING DONG MY DRAGON (HCV) IS FINALLY DEAD!

 


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