The usual treatment for hepatitis A is bed rest. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids, particularly if you are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) can help manage some of the symptoms of hepatitis A, although it’s best to consult with your health care provider before using any medications.
If you have not been vaccinated but you were recently exposed to hepatitis A, talk to your doctor about receiving hepatitis A postexposure prophylaxis. This must be done as soon as possible, and no longer than two weeks after exposure.
- Healthy people who are 12 months to 40 years-old receive a single-antigen hepatitis A vaccine.
- Adults over age 40 receive an injection of immune globulin (also called gamma globulin). Immune globulin contains high levels of antibodies to HAV, which can help prevent the disease if you have been exposed to the virus. People who receive immune globulin to prevent active hepatitis A should also receive the hepatitis A vaccine.
- Immune globulin is recommended for children under 12 months, immunocompromised people, those with with chronic liver disease, and anyone who is allergic to the hep A vaccine.
Last Reviewed: March 4, 2019