| rebetol |
Ribavirin is used in combination with interferon to treat chronic hepatitis C infection. Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes swelling or enlargement of the liver.
- Store at room temperature (77 degrees F or 25 degrees C) away from light and moisture.
- Brief storage between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted.
- If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
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- Take Rebetol by mouth usually twice daily with or without food or as directed by your doctor.
- It is important to take Rebetol consistently either with food or without food.
- Taking it inconsistently (sometimes with food, sometimes without food) may decrease the effectiveness and/or increase your risk of side effects.
- It may be best to take Rebetol with food (more medicine might be absorbed into your bloodstream).
- 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 Rebetol at evenly spaced intervals.
- It is recommended that female patients or female partners of male patients take a pregnancy test before Rebetol is started.
- Refer to the pregnancy warning in the Precautions section (below).
- Drink plenty of water while being treated with Rebetol; doing so will decrease the risk of serious side effects.
- Nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, stomach upset, trouble sleeping, and flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches) may occur.
- If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor.
- Promptly tell your doctor if any of these side effects occur: hair loss, loss of appetite, weight loss, rash, itching, changes in taste or hearing.
- Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: unusual tiredness and weakness (fatigue), dark urine, yellowing eyes, mental/mood changes, trouble breathing.
- Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: chest pain, muscle pain, joint pain, sinus problems (e.g., drainage, pain behind the eyes), rapid breathing, stomach pain.
- If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
- Rebetol is not recommended for use if you have the following medical conditions: severe heart disease, kidney disease, blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell anemia, low hemoglobin), other types of hepatitis (e.g., autoimmune hepatitis).
- Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: other liver problems, heart problems, breathing problems, pancreas problems (e.g., pancreatitis), diabetes, any allergies.
- Caution is advised when using Rebetol in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the side effects of Rebetol.
- Rebetol must not be used during pregnancy.
- Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss reliable forms of birth control.
- It is recommended that men and women use two effective forms of birth control (e.g., latex condoms, birth control medication) while taking Rebetol since ribavirin may cause fetal harm.
- These birth control measures should be used during treatment with, and for at least 6 months after using Rebetol.
- It is not known whether Rebetol passes into breast milk.
- Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using Rebetol is not recommended.
- 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 and resume your usual dosing schedule.
- Do not double the dose to catch up.
- Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medication you may use, especially: antacids, didanosine, zidovudine.
- Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.