GENERIC NAME: RIBAVIRIN TABLET - ORAL (rye-buh-VYE-rin)
BRAND NAME(S): Copegus, Ribapak
WARNING: Ribavirin may cause birth defects and/or death in unborn babies that are exposed to it during pregnancy. If you or your sexual partner are or may be pregnant, do not take ribavirin, and contact your doctor immediately. Women and men who are taking ribavirin must avoid pregnancy by using two forms of reliable birth control (such as latex condoms and birth control pills) during treatment with this drug and for 6 months after this medication has been stopped. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Patients with certain types of heart disease should not use ribavirin because it can lower your red blood cell level (anemia). This may worsen your condition and can lead to a possibly fatal heart attack. Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have had any heart problems or chest pain.
Ribavirin should never be used alone to treat hepatitis C infections.
USES: This medication is an antiviral used in combination with interferon to treat ongoing hepatitis C. Long-term hepatitis C infection causes liver swelling that can lead to serious liver conditions such as scarring, cancer, and organ failure. Ribavirin works by reducing the amount of hepatitis C virus in your body, which may help your liver recover. However, this drug is not a cure for hepatitis C infection, and it does not prevent the spread of Hepatitis C to others through sexual contact or blood contamination (e.g., sharing used needles).OTHER This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.This drug may also be used to treat severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using ribavirin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth, usually twice daily with food for 24 to 48 weeks or as directed by your doctor.The dosage and length of treatment is based on your age, weight, medical condition, and response to therapy.If this medication comes in a dosing package, carefully follow the directions on the dosing package unless your doctor directs you otherwise.Antiviral medications work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.Drink plenty of water while being treated with this medication. Doing so will decrease the risk of serious side effects.Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets.
SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, diarrhea, stomach upset, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, trouble sleeping, flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches), cough, hair loss, low appetite, weight loss or gain, dry skin, and changes in taste/hearing may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tooth and gum problems may sometimes occur during ribavirin/interferon treatment. Dry mouth can worsen this side effect. Prevent dry mouth by drinking plenty of water or by using a saliva substitute. Brush your teeth well at least twice daily and see your dentist regularly. If you experience vomiting during treatment, rinse out your mouth afterwards to reduce tooth and gum problems.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: unusual tiredness/weakness, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, trouble breathing, mental/mood changes (e.g., severe depression, suicidal thoughts), muscle/joint pain, vision changes, easy bruising/bleeding, dark urine, yellowing of eyes/skin.Seek immediate medical attention if any of these unlikely but very serious side effects occurs: chest pain, jaw/left arm pain, stomach/lower back pain, black/bloody stools.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking ribavirin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: other types of hepatitis (e.g., autoimmune hepatitis), blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell anemia, low hemoglobin, thalassemia), kidney disease.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: other liver problems, heart disease, high blood pressure, breathing problems, pancreas problems (e.g., pancreatitis), diabetes.This drug may make you dizzy or unusually tired or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, elderly people may be at greater risk for anemia while using this drug.Children may be at greater risk for mental/mood changes, including severe depression or suicidal thoughts, while using this drug. Ribavirin/interferon treatment may also slow down a child's rate of growth. Normal weight gain and rate of growth usually return after treatment is completed but the final adult height may be lower than expected. Monitor your child's height and weight periodically during treatment.Ribavirin must not be used during pregnancy. It is recommended that female patients or female partners of male patients take a pregnancy test before this medication is started, during treatment, and for 6 months after this drug is stopped. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. See Warnings for additional information.Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets.It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal medication you may use, especially of: antacids, certain anti-HIV drugs (e.g., NRTIs such as lamivudine, stavudine, zidovudine), didanosine.This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., pregnancy, blood counts/hemoglobin, liver function, thyroid function, heart function/EKG, eye exams) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects.This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in those cases. Consult your doctor for more details.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised December 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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.
Top ribavirin Related Articles
boceprevirBoceprevir is an antiviral medication prescribed for the treatment of hepatitis C. Side effects of boceprevir include hair loss, dry skin, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, altered taste senses, sleeplessness, irritability, fatigue, shivering, anemia, and low white blood cell count. Boceprevir is combined with ribavirin and peginterferon alfa, which cause fetal harm and birth defects if used in pregnant women or in male partners of women who are pregnant.
daclatasvir (Daklinza)Daclatasvir (Daklinza) is a prescription medication used in combination with sofosbuvir to treat chronic hepatitis C (HCV) genotype 1 or 3 infection. Daclatasvir belongs to the class of drugs called direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs). Side effects include diarrhea, insomnia, drowsiness, and rash.
Drug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Epclusa (sofosbuvir and velpatasvir)Epclusa (sofosbuvir and velpatasvir) is a prescription drug used to treat chronic hepatitis C gentotype 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 infection in adults. Epclusa is not prescribed for treatment in patients with cirrhosis or compensated cirrhosis.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a disease transmitted by rodents. Symptoms include fever and muscle pain. HPS can be prevented by sealing up rodent entry holes, trapping rats and mice with an appropriate snap trap, and cleaning up rodent food sources.
Hepatitis C (HCV, Hep C)Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is usually spread by blood transfusion, hemodialysis, and needle sticks, especially with intravenous drug abuse. Symptoms of chronic hepatitis include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and fever. Chronic hepatitis C may be cured in most individuals with drugs that target specific genomes of hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C Cure (Symptoms, Transmission, Treatments, and Cost)
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. There are a variety of toxins, diseases, illicit drugs, medications, bacterial and viral infections, and heavy alcohol use can case inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis C viral infection (HCV) is one type of hepatitis. According to the CDC, in 2014 there were an estimated 30,500 cases of acute hepatitis C infections in the US. An estimated 2.7-3.9 million people in the US have chronic hepatitis C. The virus is spread from person-to-person via blood-to-blood contact.
Symptoms of HCV infection include joint pain, jaundice, dark urine, nausea, fatigue, fever, loss of appetites, clay colored stool. Hepatitis C can be cured with medications in most people. There is no vaccine against the hepatitis C virus.
Hepatitis C SlideshowWhat is hepatitis C (Hep C, HVC)? Learn about hepatitis C symptoms, how you get Hep C, contagiousness, and treatment for hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C QuizHow many Americans have hepatitis C? Take this quiz to learn the facts about this chronic disease.
Hepatitis C, Hep B, Hep A: Symptoms, Causes, TreatmentHepatitis C, B, and A are viruses that cause liver inflammation. Hepatitis B vaccines and hepatitis A vaccines are available. Hepatitis symptoms may not appear for weeks to months after infection. Hepatitis A transmission occurs most often via contaminated food. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C transmission require contact with infected bodily fluids or blood.
What Is Viral Hepatitis? How You Catch Hepatitis A, B, and CHepatitis C virus and hepatitis B can make an infected person very sick and they are risk factors for liver cancer, liver disease, liver failure, and liver damage. Prior to 1992, blood transfusion was a risk for contracting hepatitis C infection. Hepatitis B and C are blood-borne infections, while hepatitis A is easier to catch, but less serious.
Is Hepatitis C Contagious?Hepatitis C or hep C causes acute and chronic liver disease. Hep C is a form of liver disease with symptoms like fatigue, jaundice, nausea and vomiting, anorexia, and abdominal discomfort. Hepatitis C is a contagious viral infection caused by people sharing drug needles, surgical instruments that have not been properly sanitized, and organ transplantation.
Lassa FeverLassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever that causes flu-like symptoms. Ribavirin is the standard treatment for Lassa fever. Hearing loss is a common complication of Lassa fever.
Nipah Virus InfectionNipah virus infection is a zoonotic infection that fruit bats and pigs can transmit to humans. NiV signs and symptoms include headache, fever, myalgia, atypical pneumonia, and encephalitis. Treatment focuses on supportive care.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a highly contagious viral infection. Symptoms and signs include fever and nasal congestion and discharge. Treatment focuses on supportive care. This disease has a good prognosis in babies and infants.
simeprevir, OlysioSimeprevir (Olysio) is an oral, direct-acting antiviral agent prescribed for treating infections with HCV (hepatitis C virus). Simeprevir is used in combination with ribavirin (Rebetol, Copegus) and peginterferon to treat hepatitis C infections. Drug interactions, warnings and precautions, side effects, and dosage information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Sofosbuvir, brand name Sovaldi, is an antiviral medication prescribed for the treatment of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 4 infection. It is used in combination with ribavirin plus interferon or ribavirin (Rebetol, Copegus). Common side effects include:
Drug interactions, dosing, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed with your treating physician prior to taking this medication.
Hepatitis (Viral Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, G)
Hepatitis is most often viral, due to infection with one of the hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D, E, F (not confirmed), and G) or another virus (such as those that cause infectious mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus disease). The main nonviral causes of hepatitis are alcohol and drugs. Many patients infected with hepatitis A, B, and C have few or no symptoms of illness. For those who do develop symptoms of viral hepatitis, the most common are flu-like symptoms including: loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever, weakness, tiredness, and aching in the abdomen. Treatment of viral hepatitis is dependent on the type of hepatitis.