Ribavirin

Description

Ribavirin is an antiviral medicine used in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection. This medicine should be used in combination with an interferon medication such as peginterferon alfa-2a [Pegasys] or peginterferon alpha-2b [PEG-Intron]. It should be used with caution in patients with blood disorders due to the increased risk of side effects.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Ribavirin

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Itching or rash
  • Sweating
  • Hair loss
  • Mental depression
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Constipation
  • Muscle cramps and stiffness
  • Blood in urine and stools
  • Back pain
  • Burning, dry and itchy eyes

Uses of Ribavirin

What is it prescribed for?

  • Chronic Hepatitis C
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The time required for this medicine to show its effect is not clinically established.
  • Duration of effect
    The amount of time for which this medicine remains active in the body is not clinically established.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit forming tendency has been reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women or in male partners of pregnant women.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue the drug based on your clinical condition.

Pregnancy

Ribavirin is not recommended for use in pregnant women and women who are planning to get pregnant due to the increased risk of adverse effects on the fetus. This medicine is not recommended for use even in the male partners of women who are pregnant.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to ribavirin.

Autoimmune hepatitis

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known history of autoimmune hepatitis due to the increased risk of worsening of the condition.

Hemoglobinopathies

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known history of blood disorders like hemoglobinopathies due to the increased risk of worsening of the condition.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women or in male partners of pregnant women.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue the drug based on your clinical condition.
General warnings

Pancreatitis

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with a known history of pancreatitis due to the increased risk of worsening of the condition. Any unusual symptoms should be reported to the doctor on priority. The medicine may be discontinued based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Ophthalmologic Disorders

This medicine is used in combination with alpha interferons. Alpha interferons may cause increased ophthalmological side effects in patients with a known history of ophthalmologic disorders. Close monitoring of eye function is recommended during treatment with this combination. The therapy may be discontinued based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Missed Dose

If a dose of Ribavirin is missed, take the dose as soon as you remember it. If it is almost the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed one.

Overdose

Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Azathioprine

Didanosine

Abacavir

Disease interactions

Pulmonary Deterioration

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with a known history of pulmonary disorders due to the increased risk of side effects. Close monitoring of lung function is necessary during treatment with this medicine. The therapy with the medicine may be stopped based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Renal Dysfunction

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with a known history of kidney diseases due to the increased risk of side effects. Close monitoring of kidney function is recommended during treatment with this medicine. Dosage adjustments may be required based on the clinical condition of the patient.

Heart Disease

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known history of serious heart disease or severe anemia due to the increased risk of worsening of the condition. Close monitoring of heart function, hemoglobin, and blood cell counts is advised during treatment with this medicine.
Food interactions
This medicine is recommended to be taken with food or immediately after food to increase the absorption of this medicine.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take Ribavirin as instructed by the doctor. Do not take larger amounts than prescribed. Seek emergency medical treatment in case of any side effects and do not stop the use of this medicine without consulting with your doctor.
Miscelleneous

To be taken with food

To be taken as instructed by doctor

Does not cause sleepiness

How it works
Ribavirin works by blocking the growth of the virus that causes Hepatitis C. This helps in stopping the spread of the infection.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Inhaled anti-infectives, Purine nucleosides

Schedule

N/A

DailyMed - RIBAVIRIN - ribavirin capsule [Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 1 August 2017]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=35f99f76-f2ef-4a81-91ff-285419664be3

[Internet]. 2017 [cited 1 August 2017]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/11755

Prescribing medicines in pregnancy database [Internet]. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). 2017 [cited 1 August 2017]. Available from:

http://www.tga.gov.au/prescribing-medicines-pregnancy-database

Ribavirin - DrugBank [Internet]. Drugbank.ca. 2017 [cited 1 August 2017]. Available from:

https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB00811

Ribavirin: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Medlineplus.gov. 2017 [cited 1 August 2017]. Available from:

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a605018.html

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Information on this page was last updated on 7 Aug 2017

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.