USES: This medication is an antiviral used in combination with interferon to treat ongoing hepatitis C. Long-term hepatitis C infection causes liver swelling that can lead to serious liver conditions such as scarring, cancer, and organ failure. Ribavirin works by reducing the amount of hepatitis C virus in your body, which may help your liver recover. However, this drug is not a cure for hepatitis C infection, and it does not prevent the spread of Hepatitis C to others through sexual contact or blood contamination (e.g., sharing used needles).OTHER This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.This drug may also be used to treat severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using ribavirin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth, usually twice daily with food for 24 to 48 weeks or as directed by your doctor.The dosage and length of treatment is based on your age, weight, medical condition, and response to therapy.If this medication comes in a dosing package, carefully follow the directions on the dosing package unless your doctor directs you otherwise.Antiviral medications work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.Drink plenty of water while being treated with this medication. Doing so will decrease the risk of serious side effects.Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets.
Quick GuideHepatitis C Pictures Slideshow: Transmission, Symptoms and Treatment
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