"Viral hepatitis facts
- Many illnesses and conditions can cause inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), but certain viruses cause about half of all hepatitis in people.
- Viruses that primarily attack the liver are c"...
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
RIBAVIRIN TABLET - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Copegus, Ribapak
WARNING: 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.
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: 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. Swallow this medication whole. Do not crush, break or chew the tablet.
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.
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