ribavirin, Rebetol, Copegus, Ribasphere, RibaPak, Moderiba

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Is ribavirin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no studies of ribavirin in pregnant women; however, in pregnant animals receiving ribavirin in smaller doses than those given to humans there have been fetal birth defects and death. Therefore, ribavirin should not be taken by pregnant women. In addition, women who are receiving ribavirin therapy should wait at least 6 months after ribavirin is stopped before becoming pregnant in order to prevent potential effects of ribavirin on the fetus.

Since ribavirin may cause abnormalities in sperm, men taking ribavirin should avoid attempts to impregnate sexual partners and should wait six months after discontinuing the drug before attempting to impregnate.

Although it is unknown if ribavirin is excreted in human milk during lactation, studies in animals have shown interferons to be excreted into milk, and the potential exists for serious adverse effects from combination therapy. Therefore, breastfeeding should be discontinued during treatment.

What else should I know about ribavirin?

What preparations of ribavirin are available?

Capsule: 200 mg.

How should I keep ribavirin stored?

Ribavirin should be refrigerated at 2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F).

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

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