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Can Hepatitis Cause Mental Problems

How Long Does Biktarvy Stay In Your System And Cause Side Effects

Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E Nursing Symptoms, Treatment, Causes, NCLEX

It isnt known how long it may take for side effects to go away after stopping Biktarvy treatment. None of the active drugs in Biktarvy typically stay in the body longer than a couple of days after the last dose. But this can vary by individual.

Do not stop taking Biktarvy unless your doctor gives you permission to do so. Stopping Biktarvy can sometimes cause serious side effects in people who have certain conditions.* Your doctor may want to monitor you for these side effects if youre going to stop taking the drug. If you have side effects that bother you or last a long time, be sure to talk with your doctor.

* If you have hepatitis B, stopping Biktarvy could worsen your hepatitis B. Biktarvy has a for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration . See Side effect specifics below for details.

Taking Care Of Yourself

The best thing you can do to keep your HE under control is stick with the treatment plan that your doctor suggests.

Since you already have a lot of medical stuff to do because of your long-term liver disease, it might seem like your new treatment is a big nuisance. But it’s really important. Don’t skip any doses of medicines, and make sure you follow your doctor’s diet advice. Ask your friends and family to help you stay on track.

If you play by the rules, you’ll get results. Your symptoms can improve and sometimes go away.

Alcohol Aging And Cognitive Decline

Alcohol has a damaging effect on the brain. âAs we age, our brains begin to show signs of cognitive decline and the use of alcohol can accelerate this process,â Colleen Wenner, LMHC, LPC, MCAP, Founder & Clinical Director of New Heights Counseling & Consulting, tells WebMD Connect to Care. âAlcohol is a depressant that affects the brainâs ability to function properly. It slows down your thinking processes, impairs memory, lowers inhibitions, and increases anxiety.â

But is it possible to know whether your alcohol use will have long-term cognitive effects? âRegular alcohol consumption can have a significant effect on aging, and will depend on the severity and duration of alcohol use,â Aaron Sternlicht, LMHC, CASAC, a therapist and co-founder of Family Addiction Specialist in New York, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

According to the National Institute on Aging, as we get older, alcohol consumption may worsen existing health issues. With advancing age, you are usually advised to reduce or stop drinking due to various health conditions which are common in old age, such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, and memory loss. However, if you continue drinking, these conditions may worsen at a faster rate.

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Pregnancy And Breastfeeding While Taking Biktarvy

Below are details on pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Biktarvy.


It isnt known if Biktarvy is safe to use during pregnancy, because the drugs use during pregnancy hasnt been studied. If you have HIV and youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about the best HIV treatment choice for you.

No harmful effects were seen when Biktarvy was given to pregnant females in animal studies. But animal studies dont always predict how the drug will affect humans.

If youre pregnant and taking Biktarvy or other HIV drugs, you might consider signing up for the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry. This program tracks the health of children born to people who took HIV drugs during pregnancy. This can help others with making decisions about their own treatments. See the registrys website or call 800-258-4263 to learn more or enroll. Your doctor may also be able to provide more information.


You should not breastfeed while taking Biktarvy. Emtricitabine, one of the active drugs in Biktarvy, passes into breast milk. And this could lead to side effects in a breastfed child. Its also important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend against breastfeeding your child if you have HIV.

Talk with your doctor about the best ways to feed your child if you have HIV.

You should call your doctor right away if you experience symptoms of

Studies Show A Connection Between Hepatitis C And Mental Health Challenges

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Many of those coping with the diagnosis of hep C also develop psychological challenges. As noted in a recent research paper, Around 50% HCV infection patients complain of neuropsychiatric symptoms, brain fog , fatigue, and also show quality of life impairment up to some extent, regardless liver disease severity.“2 According to another study, verbal learning impairment and lack of attention are also possible.3

Hepatitis C is somewhat unique because injection drug use is one of the most common ways that hep C is contracted and spread. Many people in this group have struggled with addiction, and addiction itself is associated with mental health challenges. Thus, many people with hep C also have pre-existing mental health issues, which can be exasperated by a hepatitis C diagnosis.

Also Check: How To Cure Hepatitis C Naturally

How Hepatitis C Treatments Can Help Improve Your Mental Health

Learning more about the high success rate of treatments for the virus may help you better cope with anxiety. Medication can now cure more than 90 percent of people with hepatitis C, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

A study published in October 2018 in the journal PLoS One found that when people with hepatitis C took direct-acting antiviral medication, they were not only cured of hepatitis C but also experienced reduced anxiety and depression and an improvement in overall quality of life.

Its important to keep in mind that the new DAAs have some side effects but are far more tolerable than the older injections of interferon, Graham notes. People living with hepatitis C shouldnt be fearful of seeking treatment.

The side effects from antiviral medications tend to be mild and include nausea, fatigue, and insomnia. Keep in mind, too, that the treatment lasts only 8 to 12 weeks, so any side effects are likely temporary, she says.

Joint And Muscle Pain

A condition called arthralgia causes joint pain and is common in people with hepatitis C. Itâs different from arthritis, which causes pain and swelling in joints. But infected people can also get hepatitis C-related arthritis.

Fibromyalgia, which causes body aches and muscle pain, is also common in people with hepatitis C.

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Life Expectancy And Prognosis

Can you die from hepatitis? Technically, the complications of chronic hepatitis C are fatal. About 30,000 people in the U.S. die each year from cirrhosis.

How long can you live with untreated hep C? The disease affects everyone differently, so thereâs no rule. But about 70% to 80% of people with will get chronic help C. Within 20 years, about 20% to 30% of those people will get cirrhosis. From there, it depends on what type of cirrhosis you have, your treatment, and if you can get a liver transplant.

Can hepatitis C go away on its own? Yes. From 15% to 20% of people with hep C clear it from their bodies without treatment. Itâs more likely to happen in women and people who have symptoms. But it usually happens between 4 and 18 months after symptoms start.

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Worsening Of Hepatitis B

Viral hepatitis (A, B, C, D, E) – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & pathology

boxed warning for worsening of existing hepatitis B. This is a serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration . A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

If you have hepatitis B and HIV and you stop taking Biktarvy, your hepatitis B may get worse. There have been reports of worsening hepatitis B in people who stop taking the medications emtricitabine, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, or both. Biktarvy contains emtricitabine and a form of tenofovir called tenofovir alafenamide.

Specifically, severe side effects such as liver failure have occurred in people with hepatitis B who stop taking drugs such as Biktarvy.

For more information, see Biktarvys drug label information. You can also talk with your doctor.

What you can do

Before you start treatment with Biktarvy, your doctor will order a test to check if you have hepatitis B. If you have hepatitis B, make sure to talk with your doctor before you start Biktarvy.

Its important that you dont run out of Biktarvy tablets. You also shouldnt stop taking Biktarvy unless your doctor recommends that you do so. Stopping Biktarvy could cause serious side effects in people with hepatitis B.

If you have hepatitis B and your doctor decides to have you stop taking Biktarvy, theyll monitor your liver function for several months. This is to make sure your hepatitis B doesnt get worse. If your hepatitis B does get worse, your doctor may have you take medications to treat it.

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Does Biktarvy Cause Weight Gain

No, this hasnt been reported in clinical trials of Biktarvy.

However, Biktarvy contains active drugs from a class of medications* called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. It also contains an active drug from a class of medications called integrase inhibitors. And drugs in these classes have been reported to cause weight gain.

If you notice unintended weight gain while taking Biktarvy, tell your doctor. They can recommend ways to handle this side effect.

* A class of medications is a group of drugs that work in a similar way. Biktarvy contains the active drugs emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide, which are nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. It also contains the active drug bictegravir sodium, which is an integrase inhibitor.

Treating Hepatitis C Matters

When you see your doctor and start treatment for a chronic hep C infection, you can prevent these problems, improve them, or keep them from getting worse. New drugs can clear the virus from your body in a few months with fewer side effects than older medicines. If thereâs no virus in your blood 3 months after treatment, youâre considered cured.

Getting rid of the infection protects others, too. Hepatitis C spreads through blood-to-blood contact. You could infect a loved one if you accidentally use their toothbrush or cut yourself and donât clean up the blood properly. People who get hep C treatment greatly lower the odds that they will pass the virus to someone else.

If you arenât sure if you have hepatitis C, talk to your doctor to see if you should get tested. Learn why you should get tested for hepatitis C.

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Psychosocial Experience Of Living With Hcv

In a narrative systematic review, Miller et al. identified 43 studies on this subject, all of which had been conducted in Western countries. HCV diagnosis was found to have deteriorating effects on social functioning in most of the studies. The authors also concluded that HCV was associated with social marginalization, impairment of intimate and family relationships, reduction in substance and alcohol abuse, changes in dietary intake, reduced sense of well-being due to fear of transmission and prognosis, fatigue, hopelessness, depression, anger, and stigma .

Serious Side Effects Of Biktarvy

Hepatitis: Surprising Things That Can Damage Your Liver

Biktarvy may cause serious side effects. The list below may not include all possible reported serious side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to the Biktarvy prescribing information.

If you develop serious side effects while taking Biktarvy, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or if you think youre having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

Biktarvy may cause several side effects. Here are some frequently asked questions about the drugs side effects and their answers.

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Neuropsychiatric Symptoms Associated With Interferon In Hepatitis C Patients

In addition to the neurological symptoms, more subtle neuropsychiatric symptoms frequently occur in hepatitis C patients treated with IFN- . These side effects are troublesome and frequently account for dose reduction or treatment discontinuation. In one study of 58 patients with chronic viral hepatitis treated with IFN- , psychiatric symptoms were the most frequent reason for discontinuing therapy. These symptoms include cognitive, affective, and behavioral components that are not easily distinguished from each other or from depression. In addition, fatigue and insomnia, which affect both mental and physical functioning, are prominent side effects of interferon therapy.

The cognitive changes associated with IFN- include impaired concentration, decreased alertness, deficits in verbal memory, and mental slowing. Reduced alertness and slowed reactions have been reported after only a single dose of interferon in healthy volunteers .

It is not clear whether cognitive deficits persist after treatment discontinuation. In a retrospective study of 14 patients , 12 of whom had discontinued treatment because of neurotoxicity, all had evidence of persistent neurotoxic deficits, and 10 showed symptoms consistent with frontal-subcortical dysfunction. Most authors have noted resolution of symptoms within 23 weeks after discontinuation of interferon , but the study methods have been poor.

The Link Between Anxiety Depression And Hepatitis C

Mood changes, including anxiety and irritability, can come with a diagnosis of hepatitis C. You may feel anxious about the illness and your future when you learn youre at risk for liver cancer or other complications, says Camilla Graham, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Depression can also be common, affecting anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of people who have hepatitis C, according to a review published in August 2021 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

There can be an unfortunate stigma attached to a hepatitis C diagnosis, especially when people dont understand the condition. A study published in November 2020 in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis found 95 percent of study participants reported experiencing some type of stigma related to their infection.

As a result, people with hepatitis C may become isolated, which can pave the way to depression, says Dr. Graham. Many people with hepatitis C become withdrawn and depressed, because they feel judged or shunned by others.

People with hepatitis C may also struggle with substance abuse today, the virus is often contracted through needles or other equipment used to inject drugs as well as the mental health issues that can go hand in hand with it, she says.

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What Causes Hepatic Encephalopathy

The exact cause of hepatic encephalopathy is unknown. However, its usually triggered by a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream. This occurs when your liver fails to break down toxins properly.

Your liver removes toxic chemicals such as ammonia from your body. These toxins are left over when proteins are metabolized or broken down for use by various organs in your body. Your kidneys change these toxins into safer substances that are then removed through urination.

When your liver is damaged, its unable to filter out all the toxins. Toxins can then build up in your bloodstream and potentially get into your brain. Toxic buildup can also damage other organs and nerves.

Hepatic encephalopathy may be triggered by:

Several tests are used to diagnose hepatic encephalopathy.

How Do I Know If I Have He

Viral hepatitis: Pathology Review

If you’re having some of the symptoms described above but don’t have problems with your liver, it’s likely that your symptoms are triggered by a different cause of forgetfulness. Mental ability changes can be caused by dozens of conditions, some of which are reversible and others that are progressive .

If you do have a liver condition such as hepatitis or cirrhosis, it is more likely that HE is the cause of your symptoms. Either way, you should contact your healthcare provider right away if you notice mental ability changes because several causes of memory loss have better outcomes if they’re caught and treated early.

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Clinical Spectrum And Natural History Of Hepatitis C

Most acute infections with the hepatitis C virus are asymptomatic, despite elevations in liver enzyme levels. Approximately 30% of the people with newly acquired hepatitis C infection develop symptoms, such as malaise, loss of appetite, and jaundice. Only rarely does acute hepatitis C cause fulminant liver failure. The acute episode resolves in approximately 15% of patients, while the rest develop chronic hepatitis .

Chronicity is defined as evidence of persistent infection for at least 6 months after exposure to the virus. In the chronic phase of hepatitis C, 20% of infected persons have clinical liver disease and complain of fatigue and malaise, 50% are asymptomatic but have increased liver enzyme levels, and 30% are asymptomatic and have normal liver enzyme levels . The progression of chronic hepatitis C is slow often the first clinical indication of chronic infection is liver failure, hepatic encephalopathy, jaundice, or ascites. In the United States, hepatitis C currently is the leading cause of chronic liver disease and the most common indication for liver transplantation .

Cirrhosis develops in approximately 20% of chronic carriers, and subsequent liver failure, portal hypertension, and hepatocellular carcinoma may develop. Once cirrhosis develops, the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma increases, occurring at a rate of approximately 1%4% per year .

Can Hepatitis C Be Prevented

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. But you can help protect yourself from hepatitis C infection by:

  • Not sharing drug needles or other drug materials
  • Wearing gloves if you have to touch another person’s blood or open sores
  • Making sure your tattoo artist or body piercer uses sterile tools and unopened ink
  • Not sharing personal items such toothbrushes, razors, or nail clippers
  • Using a latex condom during sex. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

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