RibaTab

RibaTab treats chronic hepatitis C. Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order blood tests to monitor you.

RibaTab Overview

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Ribavirin is a prescription medication used to treat hepatitis C infection in adults and children over 3 years old.  Ribavirin belongs to a group of antiviral drugs called nucleoside analogues, which stop the spread of hepatitis C virus in the body.

This medication comes in capsule and liquid forms and is usually taken twice a day, with food. Swallow ribavirin capsules whole.

Common side effects of ribavirin include flu-like symptoms, mood changes, and decreased appetite.

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  • Other
  • Adenovirus Infections, Human
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections
  • Virus Diseases
  • West Nile Fever

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RibaTab Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of RibaTab

Ribavirin is a prescription medicine used with either interferon alfa-2b (Intron A) or peginterferon alfa-2b (PegIntron) to treat chronic (lasting a long time) hepatitis C infection in people 3 years and older with liver disease.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

RibaTab Drug Class

Side Effects of RibaTab

Ribavirin may cause serious side effects, including:

See "Drug Precautions".

  • Swelling and irritation of your pancreas (pancreatitis). You may have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Serious breathing problems. Difficulty breathing may be a sign of a serious lung infection (pneumonia) that can lead to death.
  • Serious eye problems that may lead to vision loss or blindness.
  • Dental problems. Your mouth may be very dry, which can lead to problems with your teeth and gums.
  • Severe depression
  • Suicidal thoughts and attempts. Adults and children who take ribavirin, especially teenagers, are more likely to have suicidal thoughts or attempt to hurt themselves while taking ribavirin. Call your healthcare provider right away or go to the nearest hospital emergency room if you have new or worse depression or thoughts about suicide or dying.
  • Severe blood disorders. An increased risk when used in combination with pegylated alpha interferons and azathioprine
  • Weight loss and slowed growth in children

Tell your health care provider right away if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

The most common side effects of ribavirin include:

  • flu-like symptoms - feeling tired, headache, shaking along with high temperature (fever), nausea, and muscle aches.
  • mood changes, feeling irritable.

The most common side effects of ribavirin in children include:

  • a decrease in the blood cells that fight infection (neutropenia).
  • a decrease in appetite.
  • stomach pain and vomiting.

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of ribavirin. For more information ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

RibaTab Interactions

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Ribavirin may affect the way other medicines work.

Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take didanosine (Videx) or azathioprine (Imuran and Azasan).

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your healthcare provider or pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

RibaTab Precautions

  1. Do Not take ribavirin alone to treat chronic hepatitis C infection. Ribavirin should be used in combination with either interferon alfa-2b (Intron A) or peginterferon alfa-2b (PegIntron) to treat chronic hepatitis C infection.
  2. Ribavirin may cause a significant drop in your red blood cell count and cause anemia in some cases. Anemia has been associated with worsening of heart problems, and in rare cases can cause a heart attack and death. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had any heart problems. Ribavirin may not be right for you. Seek medical attention right away if you experience chest pain.
  3. Ribavirin may cause birth defects or the death of your unborn baby. Do not take ribavirin if you or your sexual partner is pregnant or plan to be come pregnant. Do not become pregnant within 6 months after discontinuing ribavirin therapy. You must use 2 forms of birth control when you take ribavirin and for the 6 months after treatment.
    • Females must have a pregnancy test before starting ribavirin, every month while taking ribavirin, and every month for the 6 months after the last dose of ribavirin.
    • If you or your female sexual partner becomes pregnant while taking ribavirin or within 6 months after you stop taking ribavirin, tell your healthcare provider right away. You or your healthcare provider should contact the ribavirin pregnancy registry by calling 1-800-593-2214. The ribavirin pregnancy registry collects information about what happens to mothers and their babies if the mother takes ribavirin while she is pregnant.

Do not take ribavirin if you have:

  • or ever had serious allergic reactions to the ingredients in ribavirin.
  • certain types of hepatitis (autoimmune hepatitis).
  • certain blood disorders (hemoglobinopathies).
  • severe kidney disease.
  • take didanosine (Videx).

Talk to your healthcare provider before taking ribavirin if you have any of these conditions.

Inform MD

Before you take ribavirin, tell your healthcare provider if you have or ever had:

  • treatment for hepatitis C that did not work for you.
  • breathing problems. Ribavirin may cause or worsen breathing problems you already have.
  • vision problems. Ribavirin may cause eye problems or worsen eye problems you already have. You should have an eye exam before you start treatment with ribavirin.
  • certain blood disorders such as anemia (low red blood cell count).
  • high blood pressure, heart problems, or have had a heart attack. Your healthcare provider should check your blood and heart before you start treatment with ribavirin.
  • thyroid problems
  • liver problems other than hepatitis C infection
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or any immunity problems
  • mental health problems, including depression or thoughts of suicide
  • kidney problems
  • an organ transplant
  • diabetes. Ribavirin may make your diabetes worse or harder to treat.
  • any other medical condition
  • are breastfeeding. It is not known if ribavirin passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will take ribavirin or breast feed.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Ribavirin may affect the way other medicines work.

RibaTab and Pregnancy

Ribavirin may cause birth defects or the death of your unborn baby. Do not take ribavirin if you or your sexual partner is pregnant or plan to be come pregnant. Do not become pregnant within 6 months after discontinuing ribavirin therapy. You must use 2 forms of birth control when you take ribavirin and for the 6 months after treatment.

  • Females must have a pregnancy test before starting ribavirin, every month while taking ribavirin, and every month for the 6 months after the last dose of ribavirin.
  • If you or your female sexual partner becomes pregnant while taking ribavirin, tell your healthcare provider right away. You or your healthcare provider should contact the ribavirin pregnancy registry by calling 1-800-593-2214. The ribavirin pregnancy registry collects information about what happens to mothers and their babies if the mother takes ribavirin while she is pregnant.

RibaTab and Lactation

Tell your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding. It is not known if ribavirin passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will take ribavirin or breastfeed.

RibaTab Usage

  • Take ribavirin exactly as your healthcare provider tells you. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much ribavirin to take and when to take it.
  • Take ribavirin with food.
  • Take ribavirin capsules whole. Do not open, break, or crush ribavirin capsules before swallowing. If you cannot swallow ribavirin capsules whole, tell your healthcare provider.
  • If you miss a dose of ribavirin, take the missed dose as soon as possible during the same day. Do not double the next dose. If you have questions about what to do, call your healthcare provider.
  • If you take too much ribavirin, call your healthcare provider or Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.

RibaTab Overdose

If you take too much ribavirin, call your healthcare provider or Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.

 

Other Requirements

  • Store ribavirin capsules between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
  • Store ribavirin oral solution between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C) or in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).

Keep ribavirin and all medicines out of the reach of children.

RibaTab FDA Warning

WARNING: RISK OF SERIOUS DISORDERS AND RIBAVIRIN-ASSOCIATED EFFECTS

  • Ribavirin monotherapy is not effective for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection and should not be used alone for this indication.
  • The primary toxicity of ribavirin is hemolytic anemia. The anemia associated with ribavirin therapy may result in worsening of cardiac disease that has led to fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarctions. Patients with a history of significant or unstable cardiac disease should not be treated with ribavirin.
  • Significant teratogenic and embryocidal effects have been demonstrated in all animal species exposed to ribavirin. In addition, ribavirin has a multiple-dose half-life of 12 days, and so it may persist in nonplasma compartments for as long as 6 months. Therefore, ribavirin therapy is contraindicated in women who are pregnant and in the male partners of women who are pregnant. Extreme care must be taken to avoid pregnancy during therapy and for 6 months after completion of treatment in both female patients and in female partners of male patients who are taking ribavirin therapy. At least two reliable forms of effective contraception must be utilized during treatment and during the 6-month posttreatment follow-up period