Hepatitis B can’t be cured, but it almost always goes away on its own. There are medications that can help treat long-lasting hepatitis B infections.
Is hepatitis B curable?
There’s no cure for hepatitis B. The good news is it usually goes away by itself in 4 to 8 weeks. More than 9 out of 10 adults who get hepatitis B totally recover.
However, about 1 in 20 people who get hepatitis B as adults become “carriers,” which means they have a chronic (long-lasting) hepatitis B infection. Carriers are more likely to pass hepatitis B to other people. Most carriers are contagious — meaning they can spread hepatitis B — for the rest of their lives.
Hepatitis B infections that last a long time may lead to serious liver diseases like cirrhosis and liver cancer. About 1 in 5 people with chronic hepatitis B die from it. There are medicines that can help treat chronic hepatitis B infections.
Most babies who get hepatitis B during birth develop chronic infection, unless they get treated right away. But treatments are almost always effective if your baby gets them quickly. That’s why it’s important for pregnant people to get tested for hepatitis B.
How do I get hepatitis B treatment?
Usually for adults, hepatitis B goes away on its own and you won’t need treatment. Your doctor might tell you to rest, eat well, and get plenty of fluids. You may also get medicines to help with any symptoms you might have — but be sure to talk with your doctor or nurse before taking anything.
If you have chronic (long-lasting) hepatitis, there are medicines you can take to treat it. Your doctor will tell you about your options and help you get whatever treatment you need.
What do I need to know about having hepatitis B?
If you have chronic hepatitis B, getting the right medical care can help you stay healthy. Taking good care of your liver is important. Talk with your doctor before you take any prescription medication, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, or nutritional supplements to make sure they won’t hurt your liver. You should also stay away from alcohol, because drinking can damage your liver.