- What is ribavirin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for ribavirin?
- Do I need a prescription for ribavirin?
- What are the side effects of ribavirin?
- What is the dosage for ribavirin?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with ribavirin?
- Is ribavirin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about ribavirin?
What is ribavirin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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. Ribavirin was approved by the FDA in December 1998.
What brand names are available for ribavirin?
Rebetol, Copegus, Ribasphere, RibaPak, Moderiba
Do I need a prescription for ribavirin?
What are the side effects of ribavirin?
The most common side effect seen with the combination of ribavirin and interferon is a flu-like syndrome consisting of:
Other possible side effects that may occur during therapy with ribavirin and interferon are:
- difficulty breathing,
- itching, and
- alterations in taste perception.
The most serious side effect seen with ribavirin is anemia. Careful consideration is advised if ribavirin is used in patients with heart or circulation problems since the anemia may aggravate these conditions.
Ribavirin should be avoided among patients who have severe kidney disease and have lost most of their kidneys' function.
Therapy with ribavirin and interferon may aggravate psychiatric conditions or may trigger a psychiatric condition such as depression, psychosis, aggressive behavior, hallucinations, or violent behavior. Patients should be closely monitored for the development of these psychiatric conditions.
Therapy with ribavirin and interferon has caused abnormalities of the thyroid gland. If these abnormalities persist and cannot be controlled by medication, it may be necessary to discontinue therapy.
Quick GuideHepatitis C (Hep C) Symptoms and Treatment
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