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Drugs & Medications

ribavirin

RIBAVIRIN TABLET

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Copegus, Ribapak

GENERIC NAME(S): RIBAVIRIN

WARNINGS:

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.

Who should not take ribavirin?
See More

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 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 ribavirin

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 right away if you have any serious side effects, including: unusual tiredness/weakness, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, trouble breathing, mental/mood changes (e.g., severe depression, thoughts of suicide or hurting others), muscle/joint pain, vision changes, easy bruising/bleeding, dark urine, yellowing of eyes/skin.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest pain, jaw/left arm pain, stomach/lower back pain, black/bloody stools.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: 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.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell anemia, low hemoglobin, thalassemia), kidney disease, other liver problems (e.g., autoimmune hepatitis), 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.

Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: antacids, certain anti-HIV drugs (e.g., NRTIs such as lamivudine, stavudine, zidovudine), didanosine.

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 away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications 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.

Information last revised May 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.

Images

COPEGUS 200 MG TABLET
COPEGUS 200 MG TABLET
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light pink
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ROCHE, RIB 200
MODERIBA 200 MG TABLET
MODERIBA 200 MG TABLET
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light blue
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200, 3RP
RIBASPHERE 200 MG TABLET
RIBASPHERE 200 MG TABLET
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light blue
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oblong
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200, 3RP
RIBAVIRIN 200 MG TABLET
RIBAVIRIN 200 MG TABLET
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pink
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round
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93, 7232
RIBASPHERE 400 MG TABLET
RIBASPHERE 400 MG TABLET
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color
medium blue
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oblong
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400, 3RP
RIBASPHERE 600 MG TABLET
RIBASPHERE 600 MG TABLET
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color
dark blue
shape
oblong
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600, 3RP
COPEGUS 200 MG TABLET
COPEGUS 200 MG TABLET

Identification

color
light pink
shape
oval
imprint
ROCHE, RIB 200
This medicine is a light pink, oval, film-coated tablet imprinted with "ROCHE" and "RIB 200".
MODERIBA 200 MG TABLET
MODERIBA 200 MG TABLET

Identification

color
light blue
shape
oblong
imprint
200, 3RP
This medicine is a light blue, oblong, film-coated tablet imprinted with "200" and "3RP".
RIBASPHERE 200 MG TABLET
RIBASPHERE 200 MG TABLET

Identification

color
light blue
shape
oblong
imprint
200, 3RP
This medicine is a light blue, oblong, film-coated tablet imprinted with "200" and "3RP".
RIBAVIRIN 200 MG TABLET
RIBAVIRIN 200 MG TABLET

Identification

color
pink
shape
round
imprint
93, 7232
This medicine is a pink, round, film-coated tablet imprinted with "93" and "7232".
RIBASPHERE 400 MG TABLET
RIBASPHERE 400 MG TABLET

Identification

color
medium blue
shape
oblong
imprint
400, 3RP
This medicine is a medium blue, oblong, film-coated tablet imprinted with "400" and "3RP".
RIBASPHERE 600 MG TABLET
RIBASPHERE 600 MG TABLET

Identification

color
dark blue
shape
oblong
imprint
600, 3RP
This medicine is a dark blue, oblong, film-coated tablet imprinted with "600" and "3RP".

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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