Healthnotes Index:

Ribavirin

This form:

Pronounced

"rye-buh-VYE-rin"

Common brand names:

Copegus, Ribapak

Uses

Ribavirin is used in combination with other antiviral medications (such as interferon, sofosbuvir) to treat chronic (long-lasting) hepatitis C, a viral infection of the liver. Chronic hepatitis C infection can cause serious liver problems such as scarring (cirrhosis), or liver cancer. Ribavirin works by reducing the amount of hepatitis C virus in your body, which may help your liver recover.

It is not known if this treatment can prevent you from passing the virus to others. Do not share needles, and practice "safer sex" (including the use of latex condoms) to lower the risk of passing the virus to others.

Other Uses

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 This Medication

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking ribavirin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Also read the drug information for your other antiviral medication(s).

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily with food.

The dosage and length of treatment is based on your age, weight, medical condition, and response to treatment.

If this medication comes in a dosing package, carefully follow the directions on the dosing package unless your doctor directs you otherwise.

This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.

Continue to take ribavirin and your other antiviral medication(s) for the full length of time prescribed, even if your symptoms disappear after a short time. Stopping any of the drugs too early may result in a return of the infection.

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.

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Drug information is selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First DataBank, Inc. This is a summary and does not contain all possible information about this product. For complete information about this product or your specific health needs, ask your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you have any questions about this product or your medical condition. This information is not intended as individual medical advice and does not substitute for the knowledge and judgment of your healthcare professional. This information does not contain any assurances that this product is safe, effective or appropriate for you.

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Information expires June 2016.

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