Ribavirin - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Table of contents:

Ribavirin - Benefits, dosage and side effects
Ribavirin - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Ribavirin is an antiviral drug used to treat hepatitis C. Ribavirin is used in combination with other antiviral drugs, such as interferon or sofosbuvir. This drug works by reducing the amount and stopping the spread of the hepatitis C virus in the body

Although it can reduce the amount of hepatitis C virus, until now ribavirin has not been able to prevent liver damage, cure hepatitis C, or prevent hepatitis C transmission. To prevent hepatitis C transmission, patients are still advised to use condoms during sexual intercourse and not take turns using the same needle with other people.

Ribavirin - allodokter
Ribavirin - allodokter

In addition to being used to treat hepatitis C, ribavirin is also sometimes used to treat dengue fever and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Trademarks of ribavirin: Copegus and Rebetol

What is Ribavirin?

Class Antivirus
Categories Prescription drugs
Benefits Take care of hepatitis C
Used by Adults and children
Parnaparin for pregnant and lactating women Category X: Animal and human studies have shown fetal abnormalities or a risk to the fetus.

Drugs in this category are contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant. It is not known whether ribavirin is absorbed into breast milk or not.

If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.

Medicine form Tablets and capsules

Warning Before Using Ribavirin:

  • Do not take ribavirin if you have a history of allergies to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had kidney disease, liver disease, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders, pancreatitis, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, thyroid disorders, sarcoidosis, or blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia, anemia, thalassemia, and hemoglobinopathies.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor if you have a history of alcoholism or frequent use of certain drugs without a prescription.
  • Do not drive a motor vehicle, control heavy equipment, or perform activities that require alertness, while taking ribavirin. This medicine may cause dizziness, extreme tiredness, or blurred vision.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal medicines and supplements.
  • See your doctor immediately if you have an allergic reaction or overdose after taking ribavirin.

Dosage and Rules for Use of Ribavirin

Ribavirin should be used together with other antiviral drugs, such as interferon alfa-2a, peginteron alfa-2a, or sofosbuvir. The dose of ribavirin given is determined based on the age and weight of the patient and the condition being treated. Here are the dosage divisions:

Condition: Chronic hepatitis C

Dosage: 400 mg 2 times a day every morning and evening for 24 weeks.

Condition: Hepatitis C accompanied by HIV

Dosage: 800 mg per day for 48 weeks.

In addition to the condition, the dose can also be given based on the patient's age and weight, as well as the ribavirin trademark. The division is as follows:


  • Rebetol

    Weight <65 kg: 400 mg 2 times a day every morning and evening

    Weight 65–80 kg: 400 mg in the morning and 600 mg in the afternoon Weight 81–105 kg: 600 mg 2 times/day every morning and evening

    Weight >105 kg: 600 mg in the morning and 800 mg in the afternoon

  • Copegus

    Weight <75 kg: 400 mg in the morning and 600 mg in the afternoonWeight 75 kg: 600 mg 2 times a day in the morning and evening


  • Rebetol

    Weight <47 kg: 15 mg/kg/day in 2 divided doses

    Weight 47–49 kg: 200 mg in the morning and 400 mg in the afternoon Weight 50–65 kg: 400 mg 2 times a day every morning and evening

How to Use Ribavirin Correctly

Follow the doctor's advice in taking ribavirin and always read the instructions for using the drug before taking it. Do not change the dose or duration of use of the drug without consulting your doctor first.

For ribavirin tablets, take the medicine with food. While ribavirin capsules can be taken with or without food, with a note that the drug must always be taken in the same way.

Use the given ribavirin until it runs out even though the symptoms have subsided. Do not stop taking the drug suddenly because it can cause a recurrence of the infection.

Drink plenty of water while using ribavirin to reduce the risk of side effects. To obtain maximum results, use ribavirin regularly and regularly. It is recommended to take ribavirin at the same time every day to prevent forgetting.

If you forget to take ribavirin, do so immediately if the break with the next schedule is not too close. If it's close, ignore it and don't double the dose.

Store ribavirin in a closed place at room temperature and avoid heat and humidity. Keep out of reach of children.

Interaction of Ribavirin with Other Drugs and Ingredients

Ribavirin can cause a number of interactions when used together with other medicines. Interaction effects that can occur include:

  • Increased immunosuppressant effect when used with azathioprine
  • Increased risk of poisoning the inside of cells (mitochondrion) and lactic acidosis in HIV patients taking nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), such as stavudine
  • Increased risk of anemia, if used with zidovudine
  • Reduced effectiveness of ribavirin when used with antacid products containing magnesium (Mg), aluminum (Al), and simethicone

Side Effects and Dangers of Ribavirin

The following are the most common side effects after using ribavirin:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • stomach ache
  • Headache
  • Dizzy
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dry skin
  • Cough
  • Losing or gaining weight
  • Changes in the sense of taste or hearing

Consult a doctor if these side effects do not go away for a long time or get worse. Although rare, a number of other, more serious side effects can also occur, such as:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Easy to bruise
  • Dark urine or bloody stools
  • Yellow eyes and skin (jaundice)
  • Heart pounding
  • Chest pain, abdominal pain, or lower back pain, which is severe

Immediately check with a doctor if you experience side effects as mentioned above. You also need to be checked immediately if an allergic reaction occurs, which includes an itchy rash, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the eyelids and lips.