RIBAVIRIN (ORAL) AND INTERFERON ALPHA-2B (INJECTION), Rebetron (cont.)
USES: This combination of medications is used to treat certain viral infections.
HOW TO USE: Take the ribavirin by mouth, usually twice daily with or without food; or as directed by your doctor. It is important to take this medication consistently either with food or without food. Taking it inconsistently (sometimes with food, sometimes without food) may decrease the effectiveness and/or increase your risk of side effects. It may be best to take this medicine with food (more medicine might be absorbed into your bloodstream). The interferon is injected under the skin (SC) three times a week or as directed. Use at bedtime may minimize flu-like side effects. Learn all the preparation and administration instructions in the product package and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unclear on any information. Dosage is based on your condition and response to treatment. Drink plenty of fluids while using these drugs unless otherwise directed. Antiviral medications work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Do this by taking the medication at about the same time each day as directed. Continue to use these products until the full prescribed amount is finished even if symptoms disappear after a short time. Do not use if the liquid contains particles or is discolored. Make sure needles and any medical supplies are stored safely and disposed of properly. Consult your pharmacist or nurse.
SIDE EFFECTS: This product may cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, fatigue, muscle/joint aches, or diarrhea. Redness, pain or swelling at the injection site, dizziness, hair thinning and change in taste sensation may also occur. If these effects persist or worsen, inform your doctor promptly. Unlikely but report promptly: severe fatigue, one-sided weakness (arm/leg), vision changes, poor coordination, cold or heat intolerance, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat. Very unlikely but report promptly: black stools, persistent sore throat, chest discomfort, unusual bleeding or bruising, tingling of hands or feet, difficulty hearing, seizures, rapid breathing, dark urine, yellowing of the eyes/skin, change in the amount of urine, unusual increase in thirst. If you notice any of the following unlikely but serious side effects, stop your treatment with this medicine and consult your doctor immediately: unusual or severe mental/mood changes (e.g., suicidal thoughts or severe depression), bloody diarrhea. Rare, possibly fatal cases of swelling of the pancreas (pancreatitis) have occurred. Tell your doctor immediately if you have symptoms such as stomach pain and vomiting. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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