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Last updated on November 21st, 2021

Generic name: Ribavirin

Brand names: Ribavir, Biopolymers, Rebetol, Copegus, Rebetron, Rebretron, Ribamide, Ribamidil, Ribasphere, Tribavirin, Varazid

General Information

Rebetol is an antiviral medicine that should be used with interferon alfa product (such as Intron A or Peg-Intron). It is prescribed for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection that causes swelling or enlargement of the liver.

Rebetol oral liquid contains alcohol. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while using this medication, and don’t take disulfiram (Antabuse) or you could have an alcohol reaction.

Your doctor may prescribe this remedy for other purposes. Contact your physician if you need to learn more information about this drug.

Don’t stop treatment with Rebetol earlier than it was prescribed by your doctor even if you notice improvements of your condition. Stopping the medication too early may worsen your condition. Be careful about doing dangerous tasks, driving, operating machinery or climbing until you are aware how this drug affects you. Always contact a medic before giving Rebetol to a child.

What symptoms or conditions should I report to a doctor before I take this medicine?

It is important to report to a doctor if you have or had the following conditions:

  •     heart disorders (such as heart rhythm problems)
  •     kidney or liver disease
  •     anemia
  •     high blood pressure
  •     any allergies
  •     breathing problems
  •     past interferon treatment for hepatitis C that did not work
  •     pancreatitis
  •     diabetes
  •     sickle-cell disease
  •     prior organ transplant
  •     thalassemia
  •     pregnancy, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant

How do I take this medicine?

Note: This remedy was prescribed to you only. Do not share this medicament with others. Follow strictly your doctor’s prescription. Do not take more or longer than your doctor recommended.

This drug comes in the tablet, liquid and capsule form to take orally.

The average dose of Rebetol is between 1000mg and 1200mg. It is usually taken twice daily, in the morning and the evening, at regular intervals. The average dose of medicine for children is based on height and weight.

This medicine is taken with a glass of liquid. It is important to drink several glasses of water each day while you are taking Rebetol to protect your kidneys. You may take it on a full or on an empty stomach. In order to soften stomach irritation and help your body absorb the drug is possible to combine with meals.

The capsules, tabs should be swallowed whole. Do not break, open(for capsules), crush or chew them. Shake the oral solution well before measuring a dose to mix the medicament evenly. Use a specially marked measuring spoon or medicine cup to be sure of the correct dose.

The amount of Rebetol varies among individuals and response to therapy. It is obviously to consult your doctor before to take Rebetol. Follow your medical practitioner instructions carefully.

What should be done if I missed the dose?

In case you forgot to take the dose, take it at your earliest opportunity. Never double your dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Take only one dose at once.


Taking any medicine in large doses you can have serious consequences for your health. If you feel an overdose, contact your health care professional instantly.


  • tenofovir (Viread)
  • didanosine (Videx)
  • zidovudine (Retrovir, AZT)
  • stavudine (Zerit)
  • abacavir (Ziagen)
  • lamivudine (Epivir, Combivir, Trizivir, Epzicom)
  • zalcitabine (Hivid)

This list of interactions may be not complete. Provide your medical practitioners entire list of medicines, herbs, dietary supplements or non-prescription drugs you take. Moreover tell them whether you drink alcohol, use illegal drugs or smoke. Particular items may interact with your drug.

What side-effects may occur?

  • Allergic reaction (itching; swelling of your face, throat, tongue or lips; difficulty breathing; skin rash or swelling; hives)
  • Weight changes
  • Hair loss
  • Problems with breathing, chest pain
  • Body aches, chills, fever, flu symptoms
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Numbness, tingling in your hands or feet (tremor), muscle stiffness, or spasms
  • Frequent urination, dark urine, blood diarrhea or loose stools
  • Headache, dizziness, ringing in your ears or hearing loss
  • Indigestion, or upset stomach, pain in the upper right part of the stomach, bloating, stomach gas, pain or cramps
  • White patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips
  • Fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Fatigue, faintness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Liver problems, an enlarged liver, yellowing eyes, skin
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

If these persist or worsen, notify your medic instantly. This is not a whole list of side effects and others may occur. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

How should Rebetol be stored?

Rebetol should be stored at room temperature, between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F), in a tightly closed container. Protect from moisture, direct heat, and light. Do not store in the bathroom or near a sink. Keep Rebetol out of the reach of children and away from animals.

Warning: Before taking the drug you need to consult your doctor. The information contained in this article is not intended to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, adverse effects, directions, uses, allergic reactions or warnings.

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