for Veterans and the Public
Hemoglobin - Hepatitis C for Patients
Hemoglobin is a protein within red blood cells. Hemoglobin allows red blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of the body.
Explanation of test results:
Measuring hemoglobin levels helps to estimate the number of red blood cells in the body. A low hemoglobin level is referred to as "anemia." If hemoglobin levels are very low, patients may feel tired easily.
Other things to know:
- The hemoglobin level is related to the hematocrit (see next screen: "Hematocrit").
- Low hemoglobin levels can develop during treatment with interferon and ribavirin.
- Often, lowering the dosage of ribavirin will help bring the hemoglobin level back up.
- Often, a medication called Epogen can be used by patients receiving treatment to bring the hemoglobin level back up.