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Viral Hepatitis and Ribavirin

Read more about Ribavirin.

[Edit] [Revisions] [Writers] Overview

Ribavirin is given to treat hepatitis C. It is used in combination with with interferon alfa.

[Edit] [Revisions] [Writers] Effect of Ribavirin on Viral Hepatitis

As an antiviral agent, Ribavirin works to injure the virus and fight the infection.

[Edit] [Revisions] [Writers] How to Use Ribavirin

• To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.

• This medicine must be used with interferon alfa for treatment of hepatitis C.

#Oral:

• Take capsule or solution with or without food but be consistent. Always take with food or always take on an empty stomach.

• When capsules are used in combination with peginterferon alfa-2b, take with food.

• Swallow capsule whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.

• Take tablet with food.

• A liquid (solution) is available if you cannot swallow pills.

• Those who have feeding tubes can also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after medicine is given.

#Inhalation:

• You will inhale this medicine through your mouth. What do I do if I miss a dose? (does not apply to patients in the hospital)

• Take a missed dose as soon as possible.

• If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule.

• Do not take a double dose or extra doses.

• Do not change dose or stop medicine. Talk with healthcare provider.

[Edit] [Revisions] [Writers] Side Effects and Warnings

#What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

• If you have diabetes, talk with healthcare provider. This medicine can increase blood sugar.

• If you have heart disease, talk with healthcare provider.

• If you have hepatitis B or HIV disease, talk with healthcare provider.

• If you have liver disease, talk with healthcare provider.

• If you have lung disease, talk with healthcare provider. You may be more sensitive to this medicine.

• If you have mental illness, talk with healthcare provider.

• If you have had an organ transplant, talk with healthcare provider.

• If you have thyroid disease, talk with healthcare provider.

• Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines.

• Avoid alcohol (includes wine, beer, and liquor). Alcohol can worsen liver disease.

• Use two forms of birth control that you can trust while using this medicine and for 6 months after treatment ends.

• If you are a male and sexually active, protect your partner from pregnancy during treatment and for 6 months after treatment ends. Use two forms of birth control that you can trust.

#What are some possible side effects of this medicine?

• Feeling lightheaded, sleepy, having blurred vision, or a change in thinking clearly. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities that require you to be alert or have clear vision until you see how this medicine affects you.

• Headache.

• Anemia.

• Belly pain.

• Diarrhea.

• Fever.

• Inability to sleep.

• Anemia, low white blood cell count, and low platelet count.

• Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.

• Dry mouth. Frequent mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.

• Risk of infection. Avoid people with infections, colds, or flu.

• Not hungry.

• Cough.

• Skin irritation.

#Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

• If you suspect an overdose, call your local poison control center or emergency department immediately.

• Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

• Chest pain or pressure or fast heartbeat.

• Severe dizziness or passing out.

• Difficulty breathing.

• Severe belly pain.

• Severe nausea or vomiting.

• Feeling extremely tired or weak.

• Not able to eat.

• Severe skin irritation.

• Sudden change in vision.

• For females, if you become pregnant while taking this medicine or within 6 months after treatment ends.

• For males, if your female partner becomes pregnant while you are being treated or within 6 months after treatment ends.

• Any rash.

• No improvement in condition or feeling worse.