How is Hepatitis B treated, and can it be completely cured?

Doctor's Answers (1)

Dr Quan Wai Leong

"A specialist in Digestive Health and Advanced Endoscopy"

Treatment for hepatitis B, when indicated, usually consist of oral medication or injection to suppress the virus from replicating too quickly. The newer groups of oral medicine are very potent and can effectively suppress the hepatitis B virus to minmise the risk of liver hardening and liver cancer.

The aim of treatment is effective viral suppression to prevent inflammation and complications and hopefully eliminate the infection altogether to achieve cure. The challenge we face at the moment is not having an agent which can totally eliminate the virus from our liver cells. This is due to the special characteristics of the hepatitis B virus which integrates with the individual cells of an infected liver such that it is hard, if not impossible, to eliminate the virus totally without damaging the liver cells.

However, there are better and more effective treatment methods being tested as we speak and each discovery is a step closer to eliminating the virus. So until then, we should continue to monitor and suppress the viral activity to the best of our ability to achieve "functional cure" at the very least.

- Dr Quan

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