Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Hepatitis B Overview

What is hepatitis B?
A person with hepatitis B has inflammation of the liver from an infection by the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B is spread by exposure to the blood of someone who is infected. It is also spread through sexual contact. In most cases, the infection resolves within 4 months. About 1 out of 10 people remain infected with the hepatitis B virus for the rest of their lives.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis B?
Initial symptoms of hepatitis B may include weakness, fatigue, fever, and right upper abdominal pain. In some cases, symptoms of hepatitis B also include jaundice, brown urine, and itching.

How does the doctor treat hepatitis B?
Treatment for hepatitis B may include a liver disease diet, antiviral medications, and medications to control nausea and itching. Those with severe hepatitis B may be candidates for liver transplant.

Continue to Hepatitis B Incidence

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Hepatitis B References
  1. Murdoch DL, Goa K, Figgitt DP. Combined hepatitis A and B vaccines: a review of their immunogenicity and tolerability. Drugs. 2003;63(23):2625-49. [14636084]
  2. Oncu S, Oncu S, Sakarya S. Hepatitis A and B seropositivity among medical students. Health Policy. 2005 Sep 28;74(1):39-45. [16098410]
  3. Papatheodoridis GV, Hadziyannis SJ. Review article: current management of chronic hepatitis B. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Jan 1;19(1):25-37. [14687164]
  4. Rich JD, Ching CG, Lally MA, Gaitanis MM, Schwartzapfel B, Charuvastra A, Beckwith CG, Flanigan TP. A review of the case for hepatitis B vaccination of high-risk adults. Am J Med. 2003 Mar;114(4):316-8. [12681460]
  5. Rischitelli G, Harris J, McCauley L, Gershon R, Guidotti T. The risk of acquiring hepatitis B or C among public safety workers: a systematic review. Am J Prev Med. 2001 May;20(4):299-306. [11331121]
  6. Robins GW, Scott LJ, Keating GM. Peginterferon-alpha-2a (40kD): a review of its use in the management of patients with chronic hepatitis B. Drugs. 2005;65(6):809-25. [15819595]
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