Generic Name (active ingredient): Ribavirin
Brand Name: Copegus, Rebetol, Ribasphere, Vilona, Virazole

Ribavirin is an antiviral synthetic drug, similar in structure to the nucleotides guanosine. It has a wide spectrum of activity against many DNA and RNA viruses and high toxicity.

How does the medication work?
The mechanism of antiviral action has not been fully studied. It is assumed that ribavirin causes a decrease in the intracellular pool of guanosine triphosphate, and thus indirectly reduces the synthesis of nucleic acids of viruses.
The clinical significance has ribavirin's activity against respiratory syncytial virus, as well as viruses that cause Lassa fever, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and hepatitis C (in combination with interferon alfa).

When Ribavirin is prescribed?

  • Infectious diseases cause by respiratory syncytial virus (only serologically confirmed)
  • Hepatitis C (in combination with interferon alfa)
  • Lassa fever
  • Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome

What should I know before taking Ribavirin?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to Ribavirin or to any other medicines such as:

  • other antiviral agents

Do not take Ribavirin if any of the below conditions apply to you:

  • Severe liver and / or kidney failure
  • Anemia
  • Severe heart failure
  • Hemoglobinopathy
  • Pregnancy, breastfeeding

Before taking Ribavirin, tell your health care provider about any other medicines you take or if you have any of the following disorders:

  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • Advanced age
  • Decompensated diabetes mellitus (with bouts of ketoacidosis)
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Heart insufficiency
  • Diseases of the thyroid gland
  • Depression, predisposition to suicide
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Autoimmune hepatitis

If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeed, you must not take Ribavirin . Ribavirin belongs to a pregnancy category X meaning that it has a teratogenic effect, and therefore contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding.

How to take Ribavirin:
Ribavirin is available in the forms of tablets, capsules, aerosol

Dosage of Ribavirin is prescribed individually by physician.

Take the entire amount of Ribavirin prescribed by your doctor, even if you feel better before the end of the treatment. If you stop taking medication too early, symptoms may return.
If you missed the scheduled dose, take the medication as soon as you remember, but skip the dose if it is almost the time for the following dose. Do not take two doses at once.

What are the side effects of Ribavirin?

Ribavirin may cause the following side effects:

  • hypotension
  • thyroid gland dysfunction
  • anemia, leukopenia, neutropenia, granulocytopenia, thrombocytopenia
  • allergic reactions (urticaria, angioedema, bronchospasm, anaphylaxis)

If you experience any side effect that last long or becomes bothersome, please inform your doctor as dose adjustment or treatment discontinuation may be required.

Which are Ribavirin overdose symptoms?
If you overdose Ribavirin, seek immediate medical attention. Overdose symptoms include: nausea, dyspepsia, vomiting.

Which other medicines may affect Ribavirin?
Ribavirin may interact with the following groups of drugs:

  • magnesium and aluminum containing drugs
  • antiflatulent agents
  • drugs for HIV treatment

For a complete list of possible interactions ask your doctor or pharmacist. Before taking Ribavirin, let your doctor know what other medicines, including OTC, you currently take.

How should I store Ribavirin?
Store the drug in a dry, protected from light place at temperature 15-25 ° C (59-77 F).
Keep out of reach of children.

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