The Urwin Pharmacy Group

Hepatitis C Testing

Hepatitis C Testing Service

All three of our Urwin Pharmacies, Seaton, Mirehouse and Seacliffe, have registered for the NHS Hepatitis C Antibody Testing Service which is a community pharmacy initiative designed to help those suffering from Hepatitis C.

Testing is carried out through an antibody blood test and a PCR blood test and results can take around 2 weeks. If you have a positive result, you will be referred to the relevant NHS Operational Delivery Network for further testing and treatment.

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that can cause serious problems with liver function if left untreated for a prolonged amount of time. It is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact with someone who is infected with hepatitis C. The virus can be cured with medical treatment and most people fully recover.

Hepatitis C is most commonly transmitted by those who use, or have used, recreational drugs and have shared unsterilized needles with someone with the virus, although it can also be transmitted through pregnancy from a mother to her unborn child or sharing razors or toothbrushes with someone who is infected.

In some hepatitis C sufferers, approximately 1 in 4, the body’s immune system will fight off the infection and the virus may be cured, unless they are exposed again. If left undiagnosed and untreated the virus can linger in the system for months or years and become chronic hepatitis.

What are the Symptoms of Hepatitis C?

Many of those who are infected with hepatitis C will experience no symptoms and be unaware they have the virus until they begin to suffer from the consequences of liver damage.
Others may experience symptoms that include a high temperature, tiredness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea and sickness. Some people may also suffer from jaundice which is a yellowing of the eyes and skin.

If you’re worried you may have contracted the hepatitis C virus, get in touch with your local Urwin community pharmacist to arrange a test.

NHS Hepatitis C Antibody Testing Service

Contact your local Urwin Pharmacy to book a test or find out more about this service.