The acute illness usually goes away after 2 - 3 weeks. The liver usually returns to normal within 4 - 6 months in almost all patients who are infected.
Some people develop chronic hepatitis.
Almost all newborns and about 50% of children who become infected with hepatitis B develop chronic hepatitis. Less than 5% of adults who are infected with the hepatitis B virus develop the chronic condition.
Chronic hepatitis B infection increases the risk for liver damage, including cirrhosis and liver cancer.
People who have chronic hepatitis B can transmit the infection. They are considered carriers of the disease, even if they do not have any symptoms.
Acute hepatitis needs no treatment other than careful monitoring of liver and other body functions with blood tests. You should get plenty of bed rest, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy foods.
In the rare case that you develop liver failure, you may need a liver transplant. A liver transplant is the only cure in some cases of liver failure.
Some patients with chronic hepatitis may be treated with antiviral medications or a medication called peginterferon. These medications can decrease or remove hepatitis B from the blood and reduce the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Liver transplantation is used to treat severe, chronic hepatitis B liver disease.
Patients with chronic hepatitis should avoid alcohol and should always check with their doctor or nurse before taking any over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements. This even includes medications such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen.
All the best!