2nd August 2015
Well only two weeks to go until the end of my treatment. I guess it is time for a review of the last ten weeks.
Firstly at week ten I have had no detectable virus in my system for 6 weeks and my liver function test results are better than they have ever been in my life. All enzymes well inside the normal range.
First the treatment. I have Hep C genotype 2. If there is anything lucky about finding out one has Hep C it is finding out that it is Genotype 2. The easiest to kill!
So I began taking one tablet of generic Indian Sofosbuvir each day along with 6 tablets of Ribavirin. Three Riba with breakfast, three with dinner.
Now here I must say that I heard a lot about the side effects of Ribavirin when I started my treatment but my experience of those side effects has been minimal, they have been slight. Talking to other folk that started treatment about the same time as me most have had the same experience with Ribavirin. The exceptions seems to be when people are on other medication for other health issues. These folk seem to do it tough. It is my belief that if you are in reasonable health and not on other medication then the Sof/Riba treatment is pretty smooth sailing. The thing I would add, and its just my thoughts, is that one should make sure that the Ribavirin is taken with a good deal of food. Of course the label says take it with food but I am saying not with a light snack or a nibble, a proper meal, so there is plenty of food in the belly when the Riba hits the digestive juices. With the meal not after or before the meal.
The other two big issues with Ribavirin that the nurse at the Hobart Hepatitis clinic made certain I was aware of were:
- Beware of anemia.
- If you are of the age where you might be thinking about having kids don’t do it while you are taking Ribavirin. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests Ribavirin may store in the male and female reproductive system and it takes a while for it to leave the system. So if you are in the reproductive phase of your life talk to your doctor about it.
What about the side effects?
First a bit of insomnia, but that settled down when I got in the habit of doing 20 minutes or so of yoga before bed. I still wake up a bit in the night but mostly get back to sleep.
Next the famous Riba Rage. Yes I am aware of this. Once I had just swallowed my evening dose of Ribavirin when I had to talk on the phone with Western Union. I blew my top!!! I was so insane that I was weeping and screaming at the same time... whoops. Sorry Western Union guy. I probably wrote a few things on this blog when I was a little too fired up with Ribavirin as well. But with all that if you warn your friends and family that this might be an issue they probably (hopefully) will understand when you say things you later wish you had not.
Typing skills: yes my typing has suffered dramatically. I just finished writing two books and my Master’s thesis. I do a lot of typing. If I had been on Ribavirin while writing my thesis it would have taken me ten years to finish it. Ribavirin definitely caused me to type words back the front. Thank God for spell checker!
That’s about it, my hemoglobin count was normal, no other dramas.