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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Hepatitis D: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System

Hepatitis D

Alternate Names : Hepatitis Delta

Hepatitis D | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the infection?

Treatment of hepatitis D includes:

  • bed rest
  • drinking extra fluids to prevent dehydration
  • avoiding unnecessary medications
  • avoiding alcohol
  • eating a well balanced diet for liver disease
  • taking antinausea medications as needed
  • For sudden, severe hepatitis D, treatment takes place in the hospital. A person may require antibiotics, vitamin K injections, blood and plasma transfusions, and fluids.

    For chronic hepatitis D, treatment includes the antiviral drug alpha interferon, which can help if cirrhosis has not developed. It is more effective in the early stage of the disease.

    Some people with severe hepatitis or end-stage liver disease may need a liver transplant. Hepatitis can recur in the transplanted liver, but it is rare.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Side effects will depend on the treatments used. Side effects of interferon include a flu-like illness, with fever and body aches.

    A liver transplant can cause many problems, including failure or rejection of the new liver. After a liver transplant, a person will need to take powerful antirejection medications for the rest of his or her life. Side effects of these medications increase the person's risk for infections, certain cancers, and other problems.

    What happens after treatment for the infection?

    A person with hepatitis D will be monitored for side effects and benefits during and after interferon treatment. Alpha interferon treatment might be repeated if the disease flares up again.

    How is the infection monitored?

    Periodic visits to the healthcare provider and liver function tests will be used to monitor the hepatitis and to see how the liver is working. The status of the liver may require repeated liver biopsies. Decisions about further treatment or liver transplantation are frequently made based on these tests. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Hepatitis D: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Thomas Fisher, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/13/01

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