ribavirin, Rebetol, Copegus

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GENERIC NAME: ribavirin

BRAND NAME: Rebetol, Copegus

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Ribavirin is an antiviral drug. It is used in combination with interferon for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. Although the exact mechanism of its action is unknown, it is thought to interfere with the production and/or action of viral DNA and RNA which are critical to the survival and multiplication of the virus.



PREPARATIONS: Capsule: 200 mg.

STORAGE: Ribavirin should be refrigerated at 2-8 C (36-46 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Ribavirin capsules are used in combination with interferon to treat patients with chronic hepatitis C who have not been treated with interferon previously or who have had a return of hepatitis C following successful treatment with interferon.

DOSING: Ribavirin dosing is individualized based upon a patient's weight and previous use of interferon.

Ribavirin may be taken with or without food. When taken orally, it should be taken consistently. For example, it should be taken at the same time or times each day and with or without food each time.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Ribavirin used at the same time as other antiviral drugs with similar mechanisms of action may cause a condition in which lactic acid accumulates in the blood (lactic acidosis) which can lead to serious medical problems. Other such antiviral drugs include those used to manage HIV infection, for example, zidovudine (Retrovir), zalcitabine (Hivid) or stavudine (Zerit).

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