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Discharge Instructions for Hepatitis C

You have been diagnosed with hepatitis C, which is an inflammation of the liver caused by a viral infection. Hepatitis C can get worse and damage your liver without your knowing it. Stay in regular contact with your doctor and healthcare team. They can watch your condition and tell you about any new research and types of treatment for hepatitis C. Here's what you can do to stay healthier and prevent its spread.

Home care

  • Avoid putting stress on your liver.

    • Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing cirrhosis.

    • Ask your doctor about which medications, including over-the-counter ones, you should not take.

    • Lose weight if you are overweight, especially if you have fatty liver.

  • Eat a balanced diet. 

  • Take medications prescribed by your doctor to try to get rid of the virus.  

    • To help your liver work better, you may be given injections of a medication called alpha interferon, or you may be given oral medications.

    • In most cases, you will take ribavirin (antiviral medication) by mouth twice a day. 

Prevention

  • Cover all skin breaks and sores by yourself. If you need help, the person treating you should wear latex gloves.

  • Use condoms during sex if you have multiple sexual partners.

  • Don’t donate blood, plasma, sperm, body organs, or other body tissue.

  • Don’t share needles.

  • Don’t share razors, toothbrushes, manicure tools, or other personal items.

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

When to seek medical care

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Flulike problems (fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or sore muscles and joints)

  • Swelling in your abdomen or tenderness in the upper right abdomen

  • Yellowing of your skin or eyes (jaundice)

  • Itching

  • Dark urine

  • Black, tarry, or red stools or vomiting blood

  • Confusion or trouble concentrating

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Painful red rash on your legs

  • Nerve damage

  • Mental confusion

  • Kidney problems

Online Medical Reviewer: Kolbus, Karin, RN, DNP, COHN-S
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 4/1/2014
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.