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 think that you may have recently been exposed to HAV—for example, if somebody in your household has been diagnosed with hepatitis A—you can talk to your doctor about receiving 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. Immune globulin needs to be given within two to six weeks after possible exposure to HAV. People who receive immune globulin to prevent active hepatitis A should also receive the hepatitis A vaccine (discussed in the next section).
Last Revised: July 15, 2010