Hepatitis

Hepatitis and its treatment is a long term burden than can be difficult to undertake. At Pharmacy Advantage with the support of our highly trained specialists, you do not need to face this challenge alone. We pledge to offer the absolute best tailored care and quality service for you or your family.

Our expert clinical pharmacists work closely with healthcare providers to optimize your Hepatitis therapy outcome. Pharmacy Advantage realizes various obstacles may develop during the course of treatment and we are prepared to help eliminate these barriers. Patient counseling, medical interventions, and financial assistance are our safeguards for successful medication management. Pharmacy Advantage’s commitment to you is our commitment to your cure

About the Disease

Hepatitis C is a viral disease that leads to swelling (inflammation) of the liver caused by an infection from the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). This viral infection causes the liver to become inflamed and may turn into cirrhosis (irreversible scarring of the liver), liver failure or liver cancer.

Over 3.9 million Americans are infected with HCV and it is the most common reason for liver transplantation.

Symptoms of the Disease

Although 80% of people have no signs or symptoms of a Hepatitis C infection, there are some signs to watch for. Early detection of the Hepatitis C virus is key to successfully treating your condition. Many people do not even realize they have the condition unless they are specifically tested.

Infection occurs when blood or body fluids from an infected person enters the body of a person who is not infected with Hepatitis C. In addition, HCV is spread through sharing needles or "works" when "shooting" drugs, through needlesticks or sharps exposures on the job, or from an infected mother to her baby during birth. If you, or someone you know, believe they may have been infected with HCV, here are some of the possible symptoms:

  • Jaundice
  • Fatigue
  • Dark Urine
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea

Adapted from: National Institute of Health

Causes of the Disease

Maternal-Infant Hepatitis C Transmission

Maternal-infant transmission of Hepatitis C is not common. In most studies, only 5 percent of infants born to infected women become infected. The disease in newborns is usually mild and free of symptoms. The risk of maternal-infant spread rises with the amount of virus in the mother's blood and with complications of delivery such as early rupture of membranes and fetal monitoring. Breast-feeding has not been linked to spread of HCV.

Sexual Transmission

Sexual transmission of Hepatitis C between monogamous partners appears to be uncommon. Surveys of spouses and monogamous sexual partners of patients with Hepatitis C show that less than 5 percent are infected with HCV, and many of these have other risk factors for this infection. Spread of Hepatitis C to a spouse or partner in stable, monogamous relationships occurs in less than 1 percent of partners per year. For these reasons, changes in sexual practices are not recommended for monogamous patients. Testing sexual partners for anti-HCV can help with patient counseling. People with multiple sex partners should be advised to follow safe sex practices, which should protect against Hepatitis C as well as Hepatitis B and HIV.

Sporadic Transmission

Sporadic transmission, when the source of infection is unknown, occurs in about 10 percent of acute Hepatitis C cases and in 30 percent of chronic Hepatitis C cases. These cases are usually referred to as sporadic or community-acquired infections. These infections may have come from exposure to the virus from cuts, wounds or medical injections or procedures.

Unsafe Injection Practices

In many areas of the world, unsafe injection practices are an important and common cause of Hepatitis C (and Hepatitis B). Use of inadequately sterilized equipment, lack of disposable needles and syringes and inadvertent contamination of medical infusions are unfortunately well-documented causes of transmission of Hepatitis C. Careful attention to universal precautions and injection techniques should prevent this type of spread. In the United States, multiple-use vials are a frequent culprit in leading to nosocomial spread of Hepatitis C.

Source: National Institutes of Health

Hepatitis C Treatment and Medications

A diagnosis of hepatitis C infection doesn't necessarily mean you need treatment. If you have only slight liver abnormalities, you may not need treatment, because your risk of future liver problems is very low. Your doctor may recommend follow-up blood tests to monitor for liver problems.

Antiviral medications

Hepatitis C infection is treated with antiviral medications intended to clear the virus from your body. Your doctor may recommend a combination of medications taken over several weeks. Once you complete a course of treatment, your doctor will test your blood for the hepatitis C virus. If hepatitis C is still present, your doctor may recommend a second round of treatment.

Antiviral medications can cause depression and flu-like signs and symptoms, such as fatigue, fever and headache. Some side effects can be serious enough that treatment must be delayed or stopped in certain cases.

Liver transplant

If your liver has been severely damaged, a liver transplant may be an option. During a liver transplant, the surgeon removes your damaged liver and replaces it with a healthy liver. Most transplanted livers come from deceased donors, though a small number come from living donors who donate a portion of their livers.

For people with hepatitis C infection, a liver transplant is not a cure. Treatment with antiviral medications usually continues after a liver transplant, since hepatitis C infection is likely to recur in the new liver.

Vaccinations to protect against other forms of viral hepatitis

Your doctor will likely recommend that you receive vaccines against the hepatitis A and B viruses. These are separate viruses that also can cause liver damage and complicate treatment of hepatitis C.

Lifestyle and home remedies

If you receive a diagnosis of hepatitis C, your doctor will likely recommend certain lifestyle changes. These measures will help keep you healthy longer and protect the health of others as well.

Stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol speeds the progression of liver disease.

Avoid medications that may cause liver damage. Review your medications with your doctor, including the over-the-counter medications you take. Your doctor may recommend avoiding certain medications.

Stay healthy. Make healthy lifestyle choices each day. For example, choose a diet full of fruits and vegetables, exercise most days of the week, and get enough sleep so that you wake feeling rested.

Help prevent others from coming in contact with your blood. Cover any wounds you have and don't share razors or toothbrushes. Don't donate blood, body organs or semen, and advise health care workers that you have the virus.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Medications

Baraclude

Epivir HBV

Hepsera

Lamivudine

Tyzeka

Pegasys

Pegintron

Incivek

Victrelis

The information on this site is intended to provide useful health and wellness information and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical advice from a qualified physician. If you are having health issues and concerns, contact a licensed physician or healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment. For questions or concerns regarding your medications please contact your pharmacist.

Medications

  • Baraclude
  • Epivir HBV
  • Hepsera
  • Lamivudine
  • Tyzeka
  • Pegasys
  • Pegintron
  • Incivek
  • Victrelis

The information on this site is intended to provide useful health and wellness information and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical advice from a qualified physician. If you are having health issues and concerns, contact a licensed physician or healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment. For questions or concerns regarding your medications please contact your pharmacist.

Patient Enrollment Form

Use the online Enrollment Form to order your prescriptions from Pharmacy Advantage and enroll in our Mail Order program. Mail your original prescriptions to:
Pharmacy Advantage Corporate HQ
Attn: New Member Enrollment
735 John R. Road, Suite 150
Troy, MI 48083

Pharmacy Advantage can accept only original prescription drug orders from patients, and faxed prescriptions can be accepted only from the prescribing practitioners.

The information on this site is intended to provide useful health and wellness information and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical advice from a qualified physician. If you are having health issues and concerns, contact a licensed physician or healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment. For questions or concerns regarding your medications please contact your pharmacist.

Hepatitis B Medication Request Form

General Medication Request Form

Hepatitis C Medication Request Form

Physician Order Form

The information on this site is intended to provide useful health and wellness information and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical advice from a qualified physician. If you are having health issues and concerns, contact a licensed physician or healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment. For questions or concerns regarding your medications please contact your pharmacist.

Financial Assistance

The staff at Pharmacy Advantage understands that prescription drugs can be expensive, especially for specialty medications. We are committed to helping our patients find ways to get the specialty medications they need, at prices they can manage. Pharmacy Advantage is dedicated to finding patient funding whenever possible in order to eliminate interruptions in therapy due to concerns over drug costs.

There are patient assistance programs for people who meet any of the following criteria:

  • Have insurance with a high co-pay
  • Incur a high deductible
  • Have Medicare or are eligible for Medicare
  • Have no prescription drug coverage and live on a limited income
  • Have lost their job

Many of our patients are currently enrolled in a co-pay assistance program and our clinical staff members would like to assist them in finding the program that best fits their needs. In order to receive assistance each program does have certain criteria that need to be met. The clinical staff at Pharmacy Advantage is happy to work with you in order to assist in completing the necessary steps.

If they are not currently enrolled and would like to discuss their options, please contact the clinical department at (800) 456-2112 extension 5, Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Programs from Hepatitis C Drug Manufacturers

The following is a list of some drug manufacturers that offer financial assistance programs for people living with Hepatitis C who cannot afford to buy the medications they have been prescribed. You are encouraged to call these manufacturers directly for more information on these programs. If you need financial assistance for a drug not listed here, please contact one of our pharmacists.

Drug Name, Manufacturer, and Telephone Number information:

Drug Name Manufacturer Phone Number
Copegus Pegassist Resource Center 877-734-2797
Infergen Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals 888-668-3393
Olysio Janssen 855-565-9746
Pegasys Pegassist Resource Center 877-734-2797
PEG-Intron Schering-Plough 800-521-7157
Rebetrol Schering-Plough 800-521-7157
Ribasphere Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals 866-650-7422
Sovaldi Gilead Sciences 855-769-7284
Victrelis Merck 888-437-2608
Incivek Vertex 1-800-345-5413

The information on this site is intended to provide useful health and wellness information and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical advice from a qualified physician. If you are having health issues and concerns, contact a licensed physician or healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment. For questions or concerns regarding your medications please contact your pharmacist.