Hepatitis C: An In-Depth Guide

Managing side effects

As with all medications, medications for hepatitis C can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild and become easier to tolerate as treatment progresses but, rarely, side effects can be severe enough to make it necessary to stop treatment.

If someone is having difficulty with side effects it is important for them to let their healthcare provider know so they can get support to manage the side effects. This can help maximize a person’s chance of completing treatment.

Click on a side effect to find out more about the condition, including cause and management. This chart lists side effects related to hepatitis C drugs.

Note: Side effects from the medications can be similar to symptoms of Hep C and/or liver damage. Check the information on Symptom management for more tips on how to help people manage specific symptoms.

The most common side effects experienced by people taking direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) include headache, extreme tiredness (fatigue), nausea and diarrhea. These side effects are usually mild or moderate and diminish or stop after a few weeks of treatment.

Ribavirin can also cause headaches, fatigue and nausea. People who take ribavirin in addition to DAAs may experience these side effects as well as depression, difficulty sleeping, lowered platelet count (thrombocytopenia), lowered red blood cell count (anemia), lowered white blood cell count (neutropenia) and a rash or itchy skin (pruritis).To learn more about any of these side effects and how to manage them click on the links below: