Hepatitis C: An In-Depth Guide

Getting ready for treatment

Managing treatment for hepatitis C (Hep C) is much 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.

Emotional health and support

Hepatitis C treatments that are used now generally 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.

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.

Spiritual or religious support

Some people may find that their spiritual or religious beliefs can help them cope as they go through treatment.

They may want to connect with a spiritual support person or leader, such as an Indigenous Elder, an imam, a priest, a rabbi or other religious leaders.

Plan for taking Hep C medications

For many hepatitis 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 still good to have 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.

Having a place to stay

While a person is on treatment, having a place to live can make it easier to stick to the medication schedule.

If a person does not have a home, it is still possible to go on Hep C treatment. They may need to arrange to store their medication at a harm reduction program or health centre. It may also be possible to visit the pharmacy every day to pick up the Hep C medications.

Help with the cost of treatment

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

Revised 2017.