Is Weight Loss or Gain a Side Effect of Harvoni Treatment?

Can Harvoni make you lose or gain weight?

Some Hepatitis C patients claim a connection between Harvoni and Sovaldi treatment with weight gain. The originator does not claim weight gain as a side effect of Harvoni but according to the experience of Hepatitis C patients putting on 10 to 30 pounds while being on 12-week Harvoni or Sovaldi treatment is very common. Here is one of our Hepatitis C patients emails:

I've started with Harvoni 5 weeks ago and everything is going as planned. However, I've gained roughly 10 pounds and my doctor suggested it might be due to the Hepatitis C treatment. Do you know of any patients that gained weight while on Harvoni? Is it because of the fatigue and occasional headaches? I have 7 weeks of treatment before me and I don't want to gain another 10 pounds. What can I do to stop the weight gain? (Scott, Denver)

First of all, Scott and others, Harvoni and weight gain go hand in hand. Scott even figured it out – because a side effect of Harvoni is fatigue, Hepatitis C patients are less likely to do more physical activities such as cardio or going to the gym and they are gaining pounds every week. Here are some ex-Hepatitis C patients sharing weight gain on Harvoni experiences.

Two reasons why Harvoni is making you fat

New Hepatitis C treatments Sovaldi and Harvoni are nothing less than miracles. With their help, Hepatitis C patients can effectively be cured of otherwise severe and dangerous disease. Some would say that gaining 20 pounds is a small cost for being cured of Hepatitis C.

However, losing that amount of weight takes a lot of time and effort. Luckily, some weight loss programs have been put forward by our Hepatitis C patients that work miraculously when on Harvoni and Sovaldi. Here are the two reasons why newly developed Hepatitis C drugs are making you fat.

1. Fatigue and Headaches Reduce Physical Activity

About 20% of patients suffer from mild to severe fatigue and headaches while on Harvoni but a majority of patients are experiencing it to a lesser extent as well. While on treatment, you'll find yourself more unwilling to go out in nature and do sports activities.

Many of patients even find themselves doing less of home activities such as doing the dishes and cleaning. These activities might not be as calorie burning as running a marathon or going to the gym, but they burn some calories little by little every day.

If you're more reluctant of doing it because you have a headache as a side effect of Harvoni treatment, you will burn fewer calories as you normally would. The same was also true for older interferon treatment where fatigue and headaches were even more frequent than with Harvoni.

On the other hand, lying in bed or sitting on the sofa without much will to do anything, there is paradoxically one activity all of us do – eat. Hepatitis C patients experience feeling weaker than usual and bored as a result of fatigue. This is why some of them find comfort in food.

Nonetheless, a vast majority of them more readily eat already prepared food. It is entirely natural that if you feel under the weather because of the drugs, you will more likely eat processed food you can just take from the fridge than start cooking a full homemade meal. In turn, eating processed food will also slow you down because you're not getting such good nutrients as you would with a proper meal.

There is an easy fix. Stop eating processed food and start working out. However, because the medications are kicking in, it is tough to find the will to do it.

2. You need healthy food while on Hep C treatment

The one thing Hepatitis C patients on Harvoni who are afraid of gaining weight are advised against is dieting. Fighting off the disease needs energy, and because our body needs energy, we are eating more. This is not only normal, but it is also of great benefit to the physique, and the likelihood of getting cured of Hepatitis C. Here is why.

While on treatment, our immune system is in hyperdrive because Harvoni is partnering with the immune system to fight off the Hepatitis C virus. The immune system needs proteins to create antibodies against the virus. There are two sources of protein – the protein you eat (meat, eggs, dairy products, fish) and the protein you already have in your body in the form of muscles. Muscles are made out of protein, but if the body needs protein to make antibodies, it will reduce muscle mass to supply proteins to the immune system.

Muscles, on the other hand, are our calorie burning power plants. If Hepatitis C patients don't intake enough protein, the body will start burning off muscles and after 12-weeks of treatment, we will gain fat and getting rid of fat without muscles in literally impossible.

This is why we need to eat high-protein food to support our body's resistance to Hepatitis C virus. However, at first glance, this may also be the reason Harvoni treatment will always give rise to weight gain.

Importance of Taking Care of Your Liver

It is important to always take care of your liver, before treatment, during treatment as well as after treatment. The best way to keep the lift and keep the healthy liver functions is by having a healthy and balanced diet as well as exercising. Natural supplements can additionally boost liver functions and speed up liver detoxification.

Being on Harvoni and losing weight

While it is good to give the body enough energy by eating more than usual, there is still a way to gain 0 pounds while on 12-week Harvoni treatment or even, as is the story with few of our patients, to lose weight. Our body desperately needs the energy to fight off Hepatitis C. This and fatigue prompts us to eat more and get fat as depicted on the infographics below.

harvoni and weight gain fat loss

How to get energy and even lose weight on Harvoni or Sovaldi treatment

Human body sources of energy:

  • What we eat (usually a healthy diet consist of 2000 kcal/day)
  • Energy storage we already have (fat, muscles)

Clearly we can get more energy be eating more on Harvoni treatment. This is what many of people who experience weight gain and are prone to weight gain related illnesses after Hepatitis C treatment do.

One of Hepatitis C patients, who actually lost 6 pounds while on Harvoni 12-week treatment, pointed out the holy grail of how to get energy. Here's a good news – many of us don't lack that energy source – it is the fat. Fat around stomach, thighs and behind is the richest source of energy in our body and while on Harvoni treatment, we can readily utilize it if we know how.

This is a story of how Heather from Oklahoma started her Harvoni treatment and monitored weight gain all the while. As you see the picture from her diet diary below, she began to gain weight on Harvoni treatment.

When she went over 150 pounds, she had enough and started with a program that focuses on fat tissue burning. This not only supplied her with the energy she needed to get cured of Hepatitis C. She actually lost 19 pounds in 6 weeks and successfully ended the Harvoni treatment looking fitter and slimmer than before.

harvoni weight gain table
Heather's diet diary notes when on Harvoni Treatment

Heather started to gain considerable weight when starting with Harvoni treatment. She ended up being clean on Hepatitis C and lost 6 pounds but everything didn't go as planned from the beginning. Gaining on average more than 2 pounds a week she decided that trying to eat healthily and doing sports activities is just not cutting it. In the 6th week she started with the fat diminishing program that started to burn her thighs, stomach and behind fat. This gave her body ample energy to fight off the disease.

We put the numbers from her diary on a graph to better show how burning fat enabled her to lose weight.

Heather's weight during 12-week Harvoni Treatment

How did Heather lose weight while on Harvoni Treatment?

When gaining 13 pound in 6 weeks I said ENOUGH! I stumbled upon Fat Diminisher program while talking with my Hep C group member and lost 4 pounds in the first week! It really works miraciolously and would recommend it to any Hep C patient 100%. (Heather, Oklahoma)

Burning fat and using as an energy source during Hepatitis C treatment also comes with quite a few perks.  Weight loss will help you:

  • Reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes, Heart Attack and High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol
  • Make you feel much better after the treatment
  • Give you extra energy

The beauty of the Fat Diminisher program for Hepatitis C patients is that you don't have to skip meals or do sports such as heavy lifting or cardio. The formula that was stumbled upon by a US Army veteran (you can check out the video here) and has helped 10.000+ Hepatitis C patients get the extra energy and lose weight while on treatment, and after the treatment as well.

Have you continued with the weight loss after Harvoni treatment?

Of course. I'm currently at 120 pound and am losing about 1-2 pounds every week. Everybody wants to know what's the secret of me looking like I'm 35 again. Being cured of Hepatitis C really lifted me up but losing all that weight gave me wings to start a new chapter in my life! (Heather, Oklahoma)

The fat burning program works just as remarkably after the treatment as well. Everyone has an additional fat that needs to be shed to make yourself healthier and look better in the mirror. You can check out the video that explains all the benefits of the program and start losing weight today (just click ‘get started' the below the video to skip it) – Fat Diminisher program.

What if I finished Hepatitis C treatment and want to lose weight?

This is the number 1 problem patients cured of Hepatitis C have. Once the disease is over and gone, many of them experience even 30 pound gain. Losing all that weight after the treatment is harder than usual.

The active immune system during the treatment cost many of the patients their muscle mass, and now they are burning fewer calories than before. During the Harvoni treatment, they also grew accustomed to eating more which is only adding to weight gain. Such ex-Hepatitis C patients are in danger on diseased connected with weight gain such as type II diabetes and increased blood pressure and cholesterol.

Fat Diminisher program works very well for ex-Hepatitis C patients, but the fat that gathered during the treatment is harder to lose. This is why a more intensive program is needed.

Many of Hepatitis C patients who found themselves being more obese after the treatment reduced their weight considerably by using a quick 3 Week Diet program. It is not as intensive as it may seem; this is why every ex-Hepatitis C patients or a healthy individual can do it with ease.

The weight loss happens very fast – some have even experienced 2 pounds/day weight loss during the first week. An average weight loss is 1 pound/day. Losing 20+ pounds in as little as 3 weeks exactly what ex-Hepatitis C patients need to get back in shape in no time. You can check out the 3 Week Diet program for ex-Hepatitis C patients here and see the full benefits of losing weight.

Share your weight gain stories with Hepatitis C treatment

We thank Scott, Heather and our other Hepatitis C patients to bringing us the stories about weight gain and other side effects problem to our attention. This is how we can together pinpoint the problem and find the solutions to help all Hepatitis C patients.

If you have a story to share, we would be glad to hear about it at hepatitisc.society@esofosbuvir.com. The most valuable thing is to describe clearly your experience and give us insight into a solution if you stumbled upon one as good as Heather did with the Fat Diminisher program for weight loss.

4 thoughts on “Is Weight Loss or Gain a Side Effect of Harvoni Treatment?

  • August 4, 2016 at 9:26 am
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    I have also gained weight and my eating or lifestyle hasnt changed.. hmmmm.. its really coming on thick and fast too… b Im kinda scared about it really Im eating less to see if it will go and excersisng too… so far no difference…. i have 15 days left on this Medication.. yes my last liver test was 19… wow…. hasnt been that for years….. however , this weight gain is really really bad…..

  • June 30, 2016 at 1:37 pm
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    I gained 1 stone on Harvoni …after the 12wk course ..I am still 12stone a month later..I have no energy and developed severe joint pain .
    I am happy I cleared the virus as I had cirrhosis, but hoping that the fatigue and joint pain start to get better soon…as for the weight gain I’m trying to eat a healthy diet in the hope it will eventually come off.

  • May 2, 2016 at 12:14 pm
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    I went thru the 12 week treatment program successful. I have been trying for years to lose weight , until I went thru I felt so much more energy after only 1 week of treatment and even more energy after 2&3 weeks, I just kept on a small portion diet and Acquatic Excercise. I started losing weight from 208 lbs to 177lbs, a lose of 31lds.
    I just continue until I settled in at my 165lbs. It was the easiest weight I ever lost I just kept my appetite low and stomach would be satisfied with less.This was the weight I use to maintained years ago and now I am back maintaing this weight body weight again.
    I am so happy, this along with weight loss & aquatic excersise that I can avoid a Lower back spinal operation.

  • April 2, 2016 at 9:43 pm
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    I was on Harvoni for 24 weeks. I also have profound, advanced rheumatoid arthritis – my weight was 128. I have finished the program, 5 weeks ago …. I am 16 pounds heavier and it is going to be very difficult for me to lose this weight because my exercise routine is yoga, and exercises that are low-impact. I wish I had known this before starting Harvoni. I hate this – I have a closet full of clothes and have weighed 128 for 17 years give a pound or two down to 125. So, now I had to get some bigger pants and have no idea how long it will take me to lose this weight.

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