Much of the following information has been gathered from various sites around the internet as well as various newsgroup articles, emails and personal documents. As such, I am unable to verify the accuracy of all of the information, so be wary of what one takes from these pages. Please consult with a professional health care provider BEFORE doing anything suggested or implied.

Treatment: Acute Infection
At present, there are no specific treatments for benign acute viral hepatitis. Current therapy should be aimed to support and to maintain comfort. As with most forms of hepatitis, alcohol consumption should be minimized, if not eliminated altogether. This helps the liver recover.
Use of adrenocorticosteroids, recommended by some, appears to have no effect curing the underlying disease. Furthermore, it appears that use of steroids in early treatment of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection may result in the development of a persistent infection. Therapeutic effectiveness of interferon use on the prognosis and course of acute HBV infection remain unknown.

Treatment: Chronic Infection
A number of elements has been used in the treatment of chronic HBV. The goals of treatment are three-fold: to eliminate infectivity and transmission of HBV to others, to arrest the progression of liver disease and improve the clinical prognosis, and to prevent the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Currently, there are several treatments being used. Interferon alpha use is most common, but now lamivudine (3TC), and others are being looked at as potential therapeutic agents. Combinations of antiviral drugs are being used with some success.

Antivirals: The following list includes those which are still in their experimental stages.

Immune System Modulators:

  • Hepagene - Medeva
  • Interferon Alpha
  • Thymosin Alpha (Zadaxin - SciClone Pharmaceuticals)

Mixed Treatments:

  • Interferon Alpha + Famciclovir
  • Thymosin Alpha (Zadaxin) + Famciclovir
  • Thymosin Alpha (Zadaxin) + Lamivudine

None of these treatments can be called a cure. A true cure for this disease still remains elusive.

Alternative Treatments
Since there is no cure, many individuals have sought other sources of therapy for their damaged liver. Though many swear by these alternative treatments, they should be taken with caution. One should remember that though these alternative treatments come from natural sources, harmful side-effects may also follow. Most alternative treatments do not target the virus. They typically boost the liver's health.

Healthy Diet
Eating a balanced and healthy diet will minimize any excess damage done to an infected liver and may even expedite liver recovery. It should be remembered that virtually everything we eat must pass through the liver.

  • Eat a well balanced and nutritious diet (i.e. food from each of the food groups).
  • Cut down on the intake of deep-fried and fatty foods.
  • Minimize or abstain (if possible) from alcohol consumption. Alcohol is detoxified by the liver and excessive alcohol consumption results in additional levels of liver damage.
  • Minimize your consumption of smoked, cured, and salted foods. Try using alternative seasonings when cooking (e.g. lemon juice, onion, vinegar, garlic, pepper, cloves, etc.).
  • MEAT, FISH, POULTRY & ALTERNATIVES TO MEAT provide protein, vitamin A, iron, vitamin B12, niacin, fiber, and thiamin. However, it has been stated by many physicians that consumption of meat and seafood should be reduced since digesting/processing these forms of food can further tax the liver.
  • BREAD & CEREALS provide carbohydrates, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and fiber.
  • FRUITS & VEGETABLES provide vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and folacin.
  • MILK & MILK PRODUCTS provide calcium, riboflavin, niacin, folacin, vitamin A, and vitamin B12..
  • Increased intake of high-fiber foods (i.e. fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, rice, and cereals) is especially helpful in keeping one healthy.
  • Avoid uncooked food since it may carry harmful bacteria.

Note: The above suggestions should be used as a guideline when eating, but should not be taken as the "be-all-and-end-all".

Liver Transplants
Liver transplants are sometimes required by those with extensive liver damage due to viral (or non-viral) causes. However, there are many factors to consider before getting a liver transplant. First and foremost, transplantation is a complex operation that requires a suitable donor. Also, there is usually a long waiting list for those wishing to receive a transplant. Moreover, transplanting a liver into a chronically hepatitis B infected individual presents the likelihood that the newly transplanted liver may become reinfected. Transplant operations tend to be relatively expensive procedures. Not all hospitals may be able to perform such an operation.

Despite these problems, for some individuals, liver transplants may offer the only hope for a healthy life. To improve the transplant situation, some researchers are considering using animal organs as possible donors. Others are trying to grow new liver from other cells found in one's body so that an infected individual may one day be able to give a small tissue sample and perfect liver cells can be grown from his own cells and used for transplant. However, this technology is still in its infancy.



Blum, A.L. Stutz, R., Haemmerli, V.P., Schmid, P. and Grady, G.F. 1969. A Fortuitously Controlled Study of Steroid Therapy in Acute Viral Hepatitis. I. Acute Disease. Am. J. Med.; 47: 82-92.

Conjeevaram, H., Balow, J.E., Austin, H., Hoofnagle, J.H., and DiBisceglie, A.M. 1993. Long Term Follow Up of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Related Glomerulonephritis Treated with Alpha Interferon [Abstract]. Hepatology; 18: 146A.

Nevens, F., Main, J., Honkoop, P., Tyrrell, D.L., Barber, J., Sullivan, M.T., Fevery, J., De Man, R.A. and Thomas, H.C. 1997. Lamivudine Therapy for Chronic Hepatitis B: A Six-Month Randomized Dose-Ranging Study. Gastroenterology; 113(4): 1258-1263.

Peters, M. 1989. Mechanism of Action of Interferons. Semin. Liv. Dis.; 9: 235-239.

Schiff, L. 1966. The Use of Steroids in Liver Disease. Medicine (Baltimore); 45: 565-573.

Wong, V.C.W., Ip, H.M.H., Reesink, H.W. et al. 1984. Prevention of the HBsAg Carrier State in Newborn Infants of Mothers Who Are Chronic Carriers of HBsAg and HBeAg by Administration of Hepatitis-B Vaccine and Hepatitis-B Immunoglobulin. Double-Blind Randomised Placebo-Controlled Study. Lancet; 1:921-926.

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