What is ribavirin?
Ribavirin is a synthetically manufactured drug listed as an active ingredient , which belongs to the line of drugs called antivirals or nucleoside analogs, which attack certain pathogenic microorganisms that cause viral infections in the body.
- Ribavirin, thanks to its mechanism of action, acts as an inhibitor of the genetic information of viruses , preventing them from reproducing in the human body, alleviating various viral infections .
- It is used to treat:
- Viral infections such as cold sores, herpetic gingivostomatitis.
- Primary and recurrent genital herpes, herpes zoster, and chickenpox in immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients.
- Mumps, hepatitis A, B and acute hepatitis C viruses, as well as chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
- Respiratory infections due to respiratory syncytial virus.
- Parainfluenza and influenza A and B.
- Recurrent genital herpes (prophylaxis).
Dosage and routes of administration of ribavirin
Ribavirin is sold in several presentations, which are usually 400 mg tablets or capsules , oral solution in a 120-ml bottle, injectable solution in a 12-ml vial, and drop solution for pediatric use in a 12-ml dropper bottle.
The administration is done according to the presentation used, being orally, intramuscularly or intravenously, and the informative dosage may be as follows:
- Tablets: Adults up to 1,200 mg/day, every 8 hours. Children 15-20 mg/kg/day every 8 hours.
- Injectable solution: Adults 12 ml daily divided into 2 or 3 intramuscular or direct intravenous applications. Children 0.2 ml/kg/day divided into 2 or 3 intramuscular or intravenous doses.
What products contain ribavirin?
Some of the medicines that contain ribavirin are:
- Vilona® is a drug whose active component is ribavirin with antiviral effect, which comes in 400 mg capsules.
- It is indicated for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in adults.
- Virazide® is an antiviral medication that uses ribavirin as an active ingredient in various presentations.
- It is used to treat viral infections such as cold sores, herpetic gingivostomatitis, primary and recurrent genital herpes.
- Rebetol® is a synthetically manufactured medicine that uses ribavirin as an active ingredient, which comes in the form of an oral solution.
- It is indicated to stop the multiplication of many types of viruses, including the hepatitis virus in several of its variants.
- Copegus® is a direct-acting antiviral that uses ribavirin as its active ingredient, in various presentations.
- It is used to treat the hepatitis C virus, in combination with other medicines.
Ribavirin Side Effects
Clinical data indicate that the use of ribavirin may cause some of the following adverse reactions in certain patient populations :
- Possible allergic reactions due to patient contact with any component of the formula.
- Difficulty to sleep.
- Memory loss .
- Muscle or bone pain.
- Hair loss .
- Constipation , upset stomach, heartburn, vomiting , and diarrhea .
- Viral infection, pharyngitis, bacterial infection, fungal infection, influenza among others.
- Loss of appetite and weight loss.
- In children and adolescents, possible growth inhibition.
- Changes in the perception of food flavors.
- Alterations of the central nervous system (CNS) such as depression and suicidal feelings.
Important: If any of these symptoms or any other symptoms not listed appear during treatment with this drug, please discontinue use and consult your doctor .
Ribavirin Contraindications and Warnings
Ribavirin treatment is contraindicated in the following cases:
- Patient hypersensitivity to any component of the formula.
- In patients with cardiovascular risk.
- During the pregnancy period.
- During breastfeeding .
- In patients with kidney failure or liver damage.
To emphasize: Provide all the information related to your health history to your doctor, before starting treatment with this drug.
Avoid it if you have:
- History of hypersensitivity to ribavirin.
- Medication or history of medication for serious CNS diseases.
- History of serious heart disease .
- Pharmaceutical products such as ribavirin, must be administered with a prescription or medical prescription.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions during administration of ribavirin.
- Do not leave this product within the reach of children.
- Avoid mixing ribavirin treatment with alcoholic beverages.
- Avoid consuming this product in combination with other medications for other pathologies, without medical authorization.