RIBAVIRIN (ORAL) AND INTERFERON ALPHA-2B (INJECTION), Rebetron (cont.)
PRECAUTIONS: This medication is not recommended for use if you have the following medical conditions: other severe liver conditions (e.g., autoimmune hepatitis, decompensated liver disease), immune system suppression for organ transplants. Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: psychiatric conditions (e.g., depression), low blood counts (e.g., red cells, white cells, or platelets), heart problems, breathing problems, thyroid problems, lung diseases (e.g., COPD, asthma, pneumonia), intestinal disease (e.g., colitis), pancreatitis, immune system diseases (e.g., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis), eye problems, diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure, brain tumors, seizures, any allergies. Avoid alcohol intake as it may intensify drug side effects. Since these products may cause dizziness, caution is advised when performing tasks requiring alertness (e.g., driving). Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects. Caution is advised when using this drug in children because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially the mental/mood changes including severe depression or suicidal thoughts. These products must not be used during pregnancy by either the pregnant woman or her male partner. Two reliable forms of birth control must be used whenever at least one sexual partner is using these medicines, and for six months after stopping treatment. If you (or your partner) become pregnant or think you/partner may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. It is unknown whether these products are excreted into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using these products is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: This drug should not be used with the following medication because a very serious interaction may occur: zidovudine. If you are currently using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting ribavirin/interferon alpha-2b. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital), didanosine, theophylline, vidarabine, zalcitabine, drugs that can depress the immune system (e.g., anti-cancer type). Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
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