Hepatitis C: An In-Depth Guide

Getting ready for treatment

Managing treatment for hepatitis C (Hep C) is easier when a person’s life is as stable as it can be and they have the support they need. There are a number of factors that can be addressed to help a person be ready for treatment.

Plan for taking Hep C medications

For many Hep C treatments, people only need to only take one pill per day, while a few are more than one pill per day.

Even though treatment is getting less complicated to take, it is important to take your medication everyday, as it was prescribed. This is called adherence. If you miss taking your Hep C pills, the medications may not work to cure you and the virus may become resistant to treatment, meaning some new drugs may not work as well if you need to be treated again.

Part of getting ready for treatment is setting up the supports you’ll need to adhere to treatment. Your healthcare provider can help you.

It can be helpful to make a plan to stay on top of the treatment regimen. Some people may want to practice their treatment schedule with Smarties or another candy to get in the habit of taking the medications and to figure out if there is anything that might get in the way of the schedule.

People who use street drugs may want to change some of their drug use habits to ensure that they can take their medications at the same time every day. This may include getting support for decreasing or stopping drug use.

For more information on taking Hep C medications see, Tips for staying on track with treatment.

Emotional health and support

Hep C treatments that are used now no longer cause side effects that impact a person’s mental health.

However, access to support and counselling is valuable for people who are struggling with their emotional health while on treatment. Some people may also find that their spiritual or religious beliefs can help them.

Access to a multi-disciplinary team made up of nurses, doctors, mental health workers, social workers, outreach workers and people living with Hep C can prevent mental health issues from being a barrier to getting through treatment.

In some places there are support groups for people living with Hep C that meet on a regular basis. If a person has access to the Internet, they can also find Hep C support groups online. Family and friends may be a source of support for some people as well.

Some pharmaceutical companies provide phone support to help people complete treatment.

Help with the cost of treatment

For information on options to cover the cost of Hep C medications, see Treatment coverage in your region.

Revised 2018.