What treatments does Sheba offer for hepatitis B?
If you are diagnosed with acute hepatitis B, it is possible that no medical treatment is needed. Sheba’s doctors will evaluate your condition thoroughly to recommend the best therapeutic options. Rest, drinking plenty of fluids and electrolytes, and proper nutrition may be enough to help your body fight the hepatitis B infection. In more severe cases, we may advise you to stay in the hospital and/or take antiviral drugs to prevent complications.
If you are diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B infection, you might require lifelong antiviral treatment and monitoring. At our Center for Liver Diseases, we consult regarding the need for antivirals, we customize the treatment individually and provide several critical procedures for patients with cirrhosis and its complications, including draining of ascitic fluid, administering intravenous medications and placing a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) for selected patients. We also provide consultation regarding the available options to treat hepatic encephalopathy and upper GI bleeding. We also evaluate and advise patients who require a liver transplantation due to hepatitis B.
The therapies that we offer at Sheba aim to: suppress the virus, reduce inflammation, decrease your risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (primary liver cancer), slow the progression to liver failure and cirrhosis, and prevent you from spreading the disease.
Antiviral medications – specialized treatment
At Sheba, we offer the most advanced, custom-tailored antiviral medications available. These oral drugs can help fight HBV by suppressing replication of the virus and diminishing its potential to cause liver damage. At present, there are three major antiviral drugs that are considered highly effective; typically, they are taken daily.
Before the administration of antiviral drugs at Sheba, our specialists will perform testing to obtain essential information about the degree of inflammation and scarring in the liver. This information provides data to help formulate personalized antiviral therapies for each patient.
These diagnostic tests include:
- An ultrasound-guided liver biopsy
- A fibroscan/FibroTest, which are non-invasive tests to evaluate the severity of liver disease
- Elastography, an imaging technique that measures the elasticity of hepatic (liver) tissue. It can be used in conjunction with ultrasound
- Viral laboratory tests to detect resistance to ongoing antiviral drug treatment
Your body naturally produces interferon to fight infection, and interferon injections involve taking a synthetic version of this substance. This treatment is used primarily for young people with HBV who want to avoid long-term therapy or women who plan to conceive within a few years of receiving treatment. (Interferon is not approved during pregnancy.)