Drug Profile


Brand names: Copegus, Rebetol, Virazole

Form of administration: Oral capsules, oral solutions, inhalation mists Usage: Ribavirin is a broad range antiviral effective against arenavirus and bunyavirus hemorrhagic fevers, including Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Rift Valley, and Hantavirus. Ribavirin is recommended treatment for all hemorrhagic fevers until they are identified, with continuing treatment for arenavirus and bunyavirus diseases. It is also used to treat viral pneumonia in infants and hepatitis C.

Mode of action: Ribavirin is an analog of the nucleoside guanosine, so it interferes with viral replication. It also inhibits the enzyme inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase.

Side effects: Anemia in some patients. Dry mouth, fatigue, headaches, indigestion, and mood and sleep disturbance. Contraindications: Anemia, autoimmune hepatitis, hepatic decompensation, heart disease, pancreatitis, other blood disorders.

Cross-reactions: Didanosine, Stavudine, Zidovudine.

Molecular Structure of Ribavirin
Original image from www.bmb.leeds.ac.uk

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