Cornerstone Health Solutions is dedicated to supporting you through your hepatitis B treatment. We are committed to helping you with financial assistance, providing you with thorough medication education, helping keep you on track, and being fully available to you to answer questions.
What is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is inflammation of the liver caused by an infection with the hepatitis B virus. The virus can cause a short term infection that your body clears on its own or a chronic infection that can last a lifetime. The younger you are when you become infected with hepatitis B, the more likely you are to develop a chronic infection from the virus. The virus is spread when infected blood, semen, or other body fluid gets into the body of a person who is not infected. Less than half of infected people will show symptoms, but if they do those symptoms include:
- Dark urine
- Light stools
- Stomach upset/loss of appetite
Who is at risk?
- Infants born to infected mothers
- People who inject drugs or share needles, syringes, or other drug equipment
- Sex partners of people with hepatitis B
- Men who have sexual contact with men
- People who live with a person who has hepatitis B
- Health care and public safety workers exposed to blood on the job
- Hemodialysis patients
What specialty medications do you offer to treat Hepatitis B?
What should I expect from treatment?
Patients infected with acute hepatitis B do not require treatment because their body will clear the virus on its own. Not all patients infected with chronic hepatitis B will be treated. Whether or not your receive treatment for chronic hepatitis B will depend on the amount of damage to your liver and how much virus is in your body. The specialty treatment options available to treat chronic hepatitis B infection include oral medications and medications that are injected under your skin (subcutaneous). Oral medications would be taken once a day and subcutaneous medications would be injected once a week (injections may be given at home). How long you will receive treatment also depends on how much damage there is to your liver. Your treatment may last anywhere from 48 weeks to a lifetime. The most common side effects you may experience from these medications include swelling of your arms/legs, stomach upset, fever, rash, trouble sleeping, and kidney problems. If these side effects become unmanageable or if you experience any other side effects talk with your provider.
What should I expect from my condition?
Unfortunately, the current treatments available for chronic hepatitis B infection cannot cure you of the virus. The long term problems associated with chronic hepatitis B infection include liver damage, liver failure, liver cancer, and possibly death. However, treatment can significantly delay this process. Whether you are on treatment or not you will need to be monitored regularly by your provider for changes in your liver.
It is important to remember that if you are infected with hepatitis B you can spread the virus to sexual partners, close contacts, and household members. Use protection with sexual partners and never share razors, nails clippers, earrings, or anything that may have trace amounts of blood on them with anyone. The virus can live outside of the body for 7 days so even dry blood can be infectious.