Yes, very good treatments are now available to almost all adults with hep C (in Australia) who have a Medicare Card. These treatments give a 95% chance of cure (getting rid of your hep C).
If you have hep C genotype 1, 2, 3 or 4, find your nearest doctor who provides hep C treatment by using the online web directory. Your doctor will assess you for treatment. This will include a number of tests to find out your hep C genotype, look at your liver health and measure your viral load. If you don’t have signs of serious liver damage, your doctor will be able to manage your hep C treatment. If your doctor finds signs of serious liver damage, such as cirrhosis, you will be referred for treatment by a specialist. (If you have cirrhosis you need extra monitoring during and after treatment, even if your treatment is successful, because you remain at risk of further complications including liver cancer).
If you have hep C genotype 5 or 6, your treatment is provided at hospital liver clinics or via specialists. Please use our Directory in the side menu or at the top of this page to find your nearest liver clinic or specialist.
Do I have to pay for treatment?
If you have a Medicare Card, the actual medicines are free but you will be charged the usual co-payment paid for a prescription. This is currently $38.30 per month for general patients and $6.20 per month if you have a Health Care Card.
The DAA drugs are well tolerated with only minor side effects.
Ibavyr (ribavirin) can involve anaemia, fatigue, headache, skin irritation and insomnia.
Interferon-based treatment involves side effects that include fatigue, headache, throwing up, sleep problems, itching and crawling of the skin, and anaemia (low blood platelets).
Pregnancy must be strictly avoided by both men and women treated with interferon-based treatment (because of the ribavirin) – during treatment and for 24 weeks after. Generally speaking, pregnancy should also be avoided with DAA drugs. Talk to your doctor, or phone the Hepatitis Infoline.
Does treatment interfere with other drugs I am taking?
Sometimes one medicine we take interferes with other medicines, or with recreational drugs (including alcohol). A useful website that lists all these interactions is based at University of Liverpool (UK). Of course, it is really important to talk about these issues with your treatment doctor or nurses.
This page was last updated 20 March 2017.
Content drawn from Australian Recommendations for the Management of Hepatitis C Virus Infection: a Consensus Statement 2016, and publications of ASHM, The Kirby Institute and The Centre for Social Research in Health, and vetted by our Medical and Research Advisory Panel.