for Veterans and the Public
Alcohol use and response to treatment
Will drinking alcohol change my response to treatment?
People who drink do not do as well on antiviral treatment as non-drinkers. A period of not drinking prior to treatment greatly increases the odds of treatment being effective.
- People who do not drink prior to starting antiviral treatment tend to have better response rates than people who do drink.
- In one study, researchers found that people who drank infrequently or not at all responded to antiviral treatment 3 times more often than heavy drinkers. Of 20 people who drank heavily prior to treatment, only 2 people cleared the virus. Drinkers may be more likely to have trouble sticking with antiviral treatment as prescribed.