What if the treatment doesn't work?

Treatment is regarded as a success if Hepatitis C cannot be detected in your blood 6 months after treatment. This is referred to as a Sustained Viral Response (SVR) and means you have cleared the virus. However, treatment is not successful for everyone. People who fail to clear the virus are often referred to as non-responders or relapsers.

Non-responder

A person who after treatment has detectable virus (HCV RNA positive) at the end of treatment.  

Relapsers

A person with no detectable virus at the end of treatment but for whom the virus can then be detected (HCV RNA positive 6 months after treatment.

Retreatment

If treatment doesn't work first time, you will be able to talk to your doctor about trying again. You may be considered for retreatment depending on you previous response and course of treatment. Then, the drugs, dosage and length of treatment are altered to offer an increased chance of success.

Notably, if you were previously given non-pegylated Interferon as part of your treatment, it is recommended that you be considered for retreatment with pegylated Interferon and ribavirin as the treatment of choice for chronic Hepatitis C. 

See also

Hepatitis C Trust: Retreatment

Hepatitis C Scotland

http://www.hepcscotland.co.uk

© Health Protection Scotland