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Rebetron Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Rebetron

Generic Name: interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin (Pronunciation: in ter FEAR on AL fa 2b and RYE ba VYE rin)

What is interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin (Rebetron)?

Interferon alfa-2b is made from human proteins that help the body fight viral infections.

Ribavirin is an antiviral medication.

Interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin are packaged together as a capsule and injection kit to treat chronic hepatitis C. These medications must be used together.

Interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin (Rebetron)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • confusion, severe depression or anxiety, aggression, thoughts of hurting yourself or others;
  • vision problems;
  • high fever with severe stomach pain and bloody diarrhea.
  • cough, stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath, uneven heartbeats;
  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate; or
  • worsening psoriasis or other autoimmune disorder.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness, tired feeling, headache, joint or muscle pain;
  • mild nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • feeling mildly anxious, depressed, or irritable; or
  • pain, redness, swelling, or irritation where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Rebetron (rebetol and intron a combination therapy) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin (Rebetron)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to interferon alfa-2b (Intron A) or ribavirin (Copegus, Rebetol), or if you have autoimmune hepatitis, severe liver or kidney disease, or a hemoglobin blood cell disorder such as sickle-cell anemia or thalassemia.

Do not use interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin if you are pregnant, or if you are a man and your female sexual partner is pregnant.

Use at least 2 effective forms of birth control while either sexual partner is using interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin. Keep using 2 forms of birth control for at least 6 months after treatment ends.

Before using interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, especially kidney disease, liver problems other than hepatitis, heart disease or high blood pressure, a thyroid disorder, eye problems, HIV or AIDS, a blood cell disorder, an autoimmune disorder such as lupus or psoriasis, or a history of heart attack, stroke, organ transplant, depression, mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction, or suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Also tell your doctor if you have ever used an interferon to treat hepatitis in the past and it did not work.

Side Effects Centers

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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