Hepatitis B Treatment

Reviewed by Ruthann Cunningham, MD, June 12, 2017

How is hepatitis B treated?

Treatment of hepatitis B is not usually necessary. This short-term infection may come and go in 6 weeks to 6 months. Rest and fluids are usually recommended during this short-term infection period. A follow up test can confirm the infection is resolved.

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Chronic hepatitis B is a lifelong infection with cycles of needing and not needing treatment.

5% of the people with acute hepatitis B get chronic hepatitis B that will come and go for a lifetime. There are antiviral medications that can slow the virus's ability to cause liver damage. These medications will help fight infections, reduce inflammation and other complications from the liver problems.

Chronic HBV treatments often vary by the individual.

Hepatitis B may require intermittent treatment for the rest of your life. Your doctor will discuss with you when it is needed. You may not start treatment for years depending on whether or not you are having liver problems at the moment. Starting medication too early may have consequences. In rare cases where the infection does not resolve or results in severe liver failure, a liver transplant is needed.

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