Rebetol (ribavirin) is an antiviral drug. It is used in combination with interferon for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. Although the exact mechanism of its action is unknown, it is thought to interfere with the production and/or action of viral DNA and RNA which are critical to the survival and multiplication of the virus.
Generic Rebetol may also be marketed as: Ribavirin, Copegus, RibaPak
*Rebetol® is a registered trademark of Merck.
Take this medication by mouth usually twice daily with food or as directed by your doctor. The dosage and length of treatment is based on your weight, medical condition, and response to therapy. Antiviral medications work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Rebetol: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Rebetol 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.
Treatment with Generic Rebetol does not prevent spread of the hepatitis C virus to other people. Follow your doctor's instructions about how to prevent passing the disease to another person.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage. Generic Rebetol may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Before taking Generic Rebetol, tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
- abacavir (Ziagen);
- azathiopriine (Azasan, Imuran);
- lamivudine (Combivir, Epivir, Epzicom, Trizivir);
- stavudine (Zerit);
- tenofovir (Viread);
- zalcitabine (Hivid); or
- zidovudine (Retrovir, AZT).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Generic Rebetol.
Generic Rebetol should be refrigerated at 2-8°C (36-46°F). Keep away from children and pets.