Treatment of Hepatitis B

Key points

  • People with hepatitis B can live healthy and normal lives; it is important to see a doctor to optimize your care.
  • There are medications available for chronic hepatitis B called antivirals, but not everyone needs them.
  • If you are diagnosed with hepatitis B, your doctor should check your liver regularly for signs of damage.
A doctor sitting with a patient and showing her information on a clipboard

Treatment overview

If you are diagnosed with hepatitis B, see your doctor to determine the best treatment for you. It will depend on a few factors, like whether you have early or long-term infection, the health of your liver, and what medications are available.

Are you a health care provider?

For clinicians looking for information on hepatitis B treatment, see Hepatitis B Clinical Care and Treatment.


The treatment your doctor will recommend depends on whether you have acute or chronic hepatitis B. Acute hepatitis B is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after exposure to HBV. Acute hepatitis B can lead to a lifelong infection known as chronic hepatitis B.

Acute hepatitis B treatment

Currently, there's no medicine available for acute hepatitis B. If you have mild symptoms, your doctor will recommend rest, good nutrition, and fluids. If your symptoms are more severe, you may need to be hospitalized.

Chronic hepatitis B treatment

There are several medications approved to treat people who have chronic hepatitis B, and new drugs are in development. For some people with hepatitis B, these medications can prevent severe liver disease. However, not every person with chronic hepatitis B needs medication, and the drugs may cause side effects in some people. People who start hepatitis B treatment may need to take medication for the rest of their lives because these medications do not lead to a cure.

Staying healthy during treatment

People with hepatitis B can live a normal and healthy life. If you are diagnosed with hepatitis B, you should:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Talk to your doctor before taking prescription drugs or nutritional supplements.
  • Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and tested for hepatitis C.
  • Consider getting tested for hepatitis D.
  • Get tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
  • Have your liver checked regularly (every 3–6 months).


Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent hepatitis B. The vaccine is safe and effective and available for infants, children, and adults. Remember to get all shots in the vaccination series to be fully protected against the hepatitis B virus.

Get tested‎

If you aren't sure whether you've been vaccinated, get tested.