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Ribasphere (Generic)

ribavirin

Ribavirin is used in combination with other antiviral medications (such as interferon, sofosbuvir) to treat chronic (long-lasting) hepatitis C, a viral infection of the liver. Chronic hepatitis C infection can cause serious liver problems such as scarring (cirrhosis), or liver cancer. Ribavirin works by reducing the amount of hepatitis C virus in your body, which may help your liver recover.

It is not known if this treatment can prevent you from passing the virus to others. Do not share needles, and practice "safer sex" (including the use of latex condoms) to lower the risk of passing the virus to others.

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168 Tablets, 200 mg

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About Ribasphere (Generic)

Overview

Ribavirin is used in combination with other antiviral medications (such as interferon, sofosbuvir) to treat chronic (long-lasting) hepatitis C, a viral infection of the liver. Chronic hepatitis C infection can cause serious liver problems such as scarring (cirrhosis), or liver cancer. Ribavirin works by reducing the amount of hepatitis C virus in your body, which may help your liver recover.

It is not known if this treatment can prevent you from passing the virus to others. Do not share needles, and practice "safer sex" (including the use of latex condoms) to lower the risk of passing the virus to others.

How to use

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking ribavirin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Also read the drug information for your other antiviral medication(s).

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily with food.

The dosage and length of treatment is based on your age, weight, medical condition, and response to treatment.

If this medication comes in a dosing package, carefully follow the directions on the dosing package unless your doctor directs you otherwise.

This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.

Continue to take ribavirin and your other antiviral medication(s) for the full length of time prescribed, even if your symptoms disappear after a short time. Stopping any of the drugs too early may result in a return of the infection.

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, cough, low appetite, weight loss or gain, dry skin, or changes in taste/hearing may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell 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.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: unusual tiredness/weakness, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, 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 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Warnings & 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 blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or tired. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

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.

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 right away. 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.

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.

Drug 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, didanosine, zidovudine.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

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Missed Doses:

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. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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 your doctor tells you to.

Selected from the Licensed Solutions data included with permission and copyrighted by FDB, inc., 2014. This copyrighted material has been downloaded and Licensed data provider and is not for distribution in professional healthcare settings. This information is generalized and not intended as specific medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional before taking any drug or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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