Font Size
A
A
A
1

Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Copegus, Rebetol, RibaPak, Ribasphere, RibaTab

Generic Name: ribavirin (oral) (Pronunciation: rye ba VYE rin)

What is ribavirin (Copegus, Rebetol, RibaPak, Ribasphere, RibaTab)?

Ribavirin is an antiviral medication.

Ribavirin must be used together with an interferon alfa product (such as Pegasys, PegIntron, Sylatron, or Intron A) to treat chronic hepatitis C.

Ribavirin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Copegus 200 mg

oval, pink, imprinted with RIB 200, ROCHE

Ribavirin 200 mg Tab-TEV

round, peach, imprinted with 93, 7232

Ribavirin 200 mg-TEV

white, imprinted with 93 7227

What are the possible side effects of ribavirin (Copegus, Rebetol, RibaPak, Ribasphere, RibaTab)?

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 ribavirin and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • problems with your vision;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;
  • stabbing chest pain, wheezing, feeling short of breath;
  • severe depression, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling; or
  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, easy bruising or bleeding, confusion, or unusual weakness.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache;
  • muscle pain;
  • dry mouth;
  • nausea; vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • weight loss;
  • feeling tired or irritable;
  • anxiety, mood changes; or
  • pain, swelling, or irritation where the interferon injection was given.

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.

What is the most important information I should know about ribavirin (Copegus, Rebetol, RibaPak, Ribasphere, RibaTab)?

You should not take ribavirin if you are allergic to it, or if you have severe liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, a hemoglobin disorder (anemia, thalassemia, and others), if you are also taking didanosine (Videx), or if you are pregnant woman, or a man whose female sexual partner is pregnant.

If you are a woman, do not take ribavirin if you are pregnant.

If you are a man, do not take ribavirin if your female sexual partner is pregnant. An unborn baby could also be harmed if a man fathers the child while he is taking ribavirin.

Use at least two effective forms of birth control while either sexual partner is taking ribavirin, and for at least 6 months after treatment ends. Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is taking ribavirin.

Ribavirin may decrease the number of red blood cells in your body. This is called anemia and it can be life-threatening in people who have heart disease or circulation problems. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your vision, liver function, and thyroid function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

Call your doctor at once if you have pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, confusion, chest pain, weakness, or trouble breathing.



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.

Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.






Medical Dictionary