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Drug Information For:
RIBAVIRIN 200MG TABLETS
Ingredient Name:RIBAVIRIN (RYE-ba-VYE-rin)
Common Uses:This medicine is a nucleoside analog antiviral medicine that is used in combination with interferon to treat chronic hepatitis C infection. Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes swelling or enlargement of the liver.
Before Using This Medicine:WARNING: USE OF THIS MEDICINE ALONE IS NOT EFFECTIVE FOR TREATING CHRONIC HEPATITIS C. This medicine must always be used with interferon to treat hepatitis C. THIS MEDICINE MAY cause a serious blood problem (hemolytic anemia). This can worsen any heart problems you have and cause you to have a heart attack, which can be fatal. Tell your doctor if you have ever had heart problems. Do not take this medicine if you have a history of serious or uncontrolled heart problems. Call your doctor right away if you have chest pain while taking this medicine. THIS MEDICINE MAY CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS and/or fetal death if used during pregnancy. Women of childbearing potential who either take this medicine or are sexual partners of men who take this medicine must have a negative pregnancy test immediately before this medicine is started. They must also avoid becoming pregnant during therapy with this medicine or within the first 6 months after this medicine is stopped. This medicine must not be used during pregnancy, nor by women of childbearing age who are not using reliable birth control (contraception). Ribavirin should also not be used by men whose partners are pregnant. AT LEAST 2 RELIABLE FORMS OF EFFECTIVE BIRTH CONTROL must be used during treatment with this medicine and for 6 months after treatment with this medicine is stopped. If you or your sexual partner becomes pregnant while taking this medicine or within 6 months after this medicine is stopped, contact your doctor right away. Some medicines or medical conditions may interact with this medicine. INFORM YOUR DOCTOR OR PHARMACIST of all prescription and over-the-counter medicine that you are taking. DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE if you are taking didanosine. ADDITIONAL MONITORING OF YOUR DOSE OR CONDITION may be needed if you are taking nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) (eg, lamivudine) or other medicines for HIV, thiopurines (eg, azathioprine), or anticoagulants (eg, warfarin). DO NOT START OR STOP any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval. Inform your doctor of any other medical conditions, including a history of cancer; heart problems or heart attack; high blood pressure; diabetes; pancreas problems; lung or breathing problems; sarcoidosis; blood problems (eg, anemia, spherocytosis); stomach or bowel bleeding; thyroid problems; psoriasis; HIV or other immune system problems; eye or vision problems; mood or mental disorders (eg, anxiety, depression); suicidal thoughts or behaviors; drug or alcohol abuse; an organ transplant; allergies; pregnancy, if you are able to get pregnant, or if you have a female sexual partner who is able to get pregnant; or breast-feeding. Tell your doctor if you have liver problems other than hepatitis C (eg, cirrhosis, hepatitis B) or dehydration. Tell your doctor if you have used interferon before to treat hepatitis C and it did not work. Tell your doctor if youhave kidney problems or are on dialysis. Some brands of this medicine should not be used in people who have kidney problems. USE OF THIS MEDICINE IS NOT RECOMMENDED if you have certain blood disorders (eg, hemolytic anemia, sickle-cell anemia, thalassemia major), severely decreased liver function, autoimmune hepatitis (liver problems caused by your body instead of a virus), or inflammation of the pancreas (acute pancreatitis). USE OF THIS MEDICINE IS NOT RECOMMENDED if you are breast-feeding, you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while you take this medicine or within 6 months after you stop it, or you are a man with a female sexual partner who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant while you take this medicine or within 6 months after you stop it. SOME BRANDS OF THIS MEDICINE are not approved for use in CHILDREN under age 18; safety and effectiveness of these brands in children have not been confirmed. Discuss any questions with your doctor. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about taking this medicine.
How to Use This Medicine:Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. This medicine comes with a MEDICATION GUIDE approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Read it carefully each time you refill this medicine. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions that you may have about this medicine. TAKE THIS MEDICINE with food. DRINKING EXTRA FLUIDS while you are taking this medicine is recommended. Check with your doctor or nurse for instructions. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT FEMALE PATIENTS AND FEMALE PARTNERS OF MALE PATIENTS take a pregnancy test before this medicine is started. A pregnancy test should also be taken every month during treatment and for 6 months after the end of treatment with this medicine to make sure no pregnancy occurs during therapy. STORE THIS MEDICINE between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container, away from heat, moisture, and light. KEEP THIS MEDICINE out of the reach of children and away from pets. Take this medicine regularly to receive the most benefit from it. Taking this medicine at the same times each day will help you to remember. CONTINUE TO TAKE THIS MEDICINE even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses. IF YOU MISS A DOSE OF THIS MEDICINE and you remember the same day, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once. Contact your doctor if you are unsure what to do if you miss a dose.
Cautions:DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE if you have had an allergic reaction to any ingredient in this product or have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin) to ribavirin or any other ingredient in this medicine. DO NOT EXCEED THE RECOMMENDED DOSE or take this medicine for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor. DO NOT STOP USING THIS MEDICINE without first checking with your doctor. Laboratory and/or medical tests, including a pregnancy test; complete blood count; eye exams; and heart, liver, kidney, thyroid, and lung function tests, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. KEEP ALL DOCTOR AND LABORATORY APPOINTMENTS while you are taking this medicine. BEFORE YOU HAVE ANY MEDICAL OR DENTAL TREATMENTS, EMERGENCY CARE, OR SURGERY, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using this medicine. DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL while you are using this medicine. THIS MEDICINE MAY CAUSE BLURRED VISION, DROWSINESS, OR DIZZINESS. DO NOT DRIVE, OPERATE MACHINERY, OR DO ANYTHING ELSE THAT COULD BE DANGEROUS until you know how you react to this medicine. Using this medicine alone, with other medicines, or with alcohol, may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks. THIS MEDICINE MAY LOWER YOUR RESISTANCE TO INFECTION. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills. TEETH AND GUM PROBLEMS, as well as dry mouth, have occurred in patients taking this medicine. BRUSH AND FLOSS YOUR TEETH CAREFULLY at least twice a day. Also, be sure to have regular dental check-ups. If vomiting occurs while you are taking this medicine, be sure to rinse your mouth and clean your teeth afterwards. BEFORE YOU BEGIN TAKING ANY NEW MEDICINE, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. CAUTION IS ADVISED WHEN USING THIS MEDICINE in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the side effects of the drug. THIS MEDICINE MAY AFFECT growth rate in CHILDREN and teenagers in some instances. Your child's growth should be checked regularly while using this medicine. AT LEAST 2 RELIABLE FORMS OF EFFECTIVE BIRTH CONTROL must be used during treatment by men and women who take this medicine and for 6 months after this medicine is stopped. Men who take this medicine should use a condom with spermicide as 1 of the 2 forms of birth control. If you or your sexual partner becomes pregnant while taking this medicine or within 6 months after this medicine is stopped, contact your doctor right away. FOR WOMEN: DO NOT USE THIS MEDICINE if you are pregnant. IF YOU SUSPECT THAT YOU COULD BE PREGNANT contact your doctor immediately. IT IS UNKNOWN IF THIS MEDICINE IS EXCRETED in breast milk. DO NOT BREAST-FEED while taking this medicine. IF YOU HAVE DIABETES, thismedicine may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine.
Possible Side Effects:SIDE EFFECTS that may occur while taking this medicine include cough; diarrhea; dizziness; dry mouth; dry skin; hair loss; joint pain; loss of appetite; mild headache, nausea, or vomiting; mild stomach pain; sinus problems; tiredness; trouble sleeping; upset stomach; weakness or fatigue. If they continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor. CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS who take this medicine may be at increased risk for suicidal thoughts or actions. Adults may also be affected. The risk may be greater in patients who have had suicidal thoughts or actions in the past. Watch patients who take this medicine closely. Contact the doctor right away if new, worsened, or sudden symptoms (eg, depression, aggression, anger, anxiety, nervousness, irritability, or any unusual mood or behavior changes) or if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION RIGHT AWAY if any of these SEVERE side effects occur: changes in hearing, taste, or vision; chest pain; confusion; dark, tarry, or bloody stools; dark urine; decrease in the amount of urine; fainting; fever, chills, or sore throat; hearing loss; irregular heartbeat; menstrual problems; mood or mental problems (eg, agitation, aggression, anger, anxiety, decreased concentration, depression, irritability, memory problems, nervousness); muscle pain or weakness; numbness of an arm or leg; pale stools; persistent loss of appetite; rapid breathing; rash with blisters, or sores in your mouth, nose, or eyes; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; severe or persistent diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting; severe stomach or back pain; shortness of breath; stomach bloating; suicidal thoughts or actions; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual or severe tiredness, weakness, or fatigue; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; weight loss; worsening psoriasis; yellowing of the eyes or skin. AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO THIS MEDICINE IS UNLIKELY, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness; or wheezing. This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your healthcare provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Overdose:If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
Additional Information:DO NOT SHARE THIS MEDICINE with others for whom it was not prescribed. DO NOT USE THIS MEDICINE for other health conditions. CHECK WITH YOUR PHARMACIST about how to dispose of unused medicine.
Copyright 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.