Tips for Surviving Side Effects

Tips for Side EffectsThe new hepatitis C treatments come with high hopes and expectations, but they also sometimes come with side effects. The following is a list of the most common side effects related to hep C treatment and links to resources that may help overcome them. However, your best resource on this topic will always be your healthcare provider.

Common Side Effects of Hepatitis C Treatments

Common Side Effect Possible Remedies to Try
Constipation / Abnormal need for Water Drink more water and clear liquid, eat more juicy fruits, and engage in light exercise.
Diarrhea Eat the B.R.A.T. diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast). Avoid breads, greasy food, raw fruits and vegetables, and dairy. Make sure you stay hydrated. Look out for signs of dehydration, such as dark urine, headaches, dry skin, fast heart rate, irritably or confusion. Seek help if the diarrhea lasts for more than 2 days or you have bloody or black poop, fever, or bad stomach pain.
Headache Drink more liquid. Avoid caffeine and sodas, bright lights, strong odors, and loud noises. Possibly relax with acupuncture, massages, light exercise, meditation, a cold cloth on your forehead or the back of your neck, and/or lay in a dark room. Talk to your healthcare provider about pain killers.
Insomnia / Inability to Sleep Create a calming bedroom and bedtime routine. Avoid activity or stress before bedtime. Record your sleeping issues and talk to your healthcare provider.
Itchiness / Skin Rashes Drink lots of water and use skin lotion and sunblock. Try baths with oatmeal, baking soda, or bath oils. Avoid overly hot showers/baths.
Mood Changes Record your moods and talk with your healthcare provider, seek out a support group or someone to talk to, and exercise daily.
Nausea / Vomiting Avoid deep-fried, greasy, or spicy food. Eat food high in starches and carbohydrates. Snack often instead of only eating two or three meals. Cut and smell lemon slices. Drink clear liquids, such as ginger ale or sports drinks. Drinking liquid in tiny sips may help. Apply heat or ice packs to aches.
Taste Changes Use non-metallic cookware and cutlery, eat room temperature food, rinse your mouth with salt water before eating.
Tiredness / Fatigue Exercise and rest regularly.

See Comparing Treatments for more information about what hep C treatments may cause what side effects.

Informational Resources with Side Effect Survival Tips

Recent Blog Posts about Hepatitis C Treatment Side Effects

Side effects can sometimes be scary, but it’s always best to begin treatment knowing what side effects may come and that others have gone through them before you and know survival tips.