Drug Class: What is Copegus and why is it prescribed?
Drug Mechanism: How does it work?
Dosage: How should you take this medication?
Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication
Special information on Copegus
Copegus side effects
|Drug Class: What is Copegus and why is it prescribed?|
|Copegus, Ribavirin is an antiviral drug. Copegus capsules are used in combination with interferon to treat patients with chronic hepatitis C who have not been treated with interferon previously or who have had a return of hepatitis C following successful treatment with interferon.|
|Drug Mechanism: How does it work?|
|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.|
|Dosage: How should you take this medication?|
|Ribavirin dosing is individualized based upon a patient s weight and previous use of interferon. Ribavirin may be taken with or without food. When taken orally, it should be taken consistently. For example, it should be taken at the same time or times each day and with or without food each time.|
|Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication|
|Ribavirin used at the same time as other antiviral drugs with similar mechanisms of action may cause a condition in which lactic acid accumulates in the blood (lactic acidosis) which can lead to serious medical problems. Other such antiviral drugs include those used to manage HIV infection, for example, zidovudine (Retrovir), zalcitabine (Hivid) or stavudine (Zerit).|
|Special information on Copegus|
|There are no studies of ribavirin in pregnant women; however, in pregnant animals receiving ribavirin in smaller doses than those given to humans there have been fetal birth defects and death. Therefore, ribavirin should not be taken by pregnant women. In addition, women who are receiving ribavirin therapy should wait at least six months after ribavirin is stopped before becoming pregnant in order to prevent potential effects of ribavirin on the fetus. Since ribavirin may cause abnormalities in|
|Copegus side effects|
|The most common side effect seen with the combination of ribavirin and interferon is a flu-like syndrome consisting of body aches and pains, fever, chills, headache and malaise. The most serious side effect seen with ribavirin is anemia. Careful consideration is advised if ribavirin is used in patients with heart or circulation problems since the anemia may aggravate these conditions. Ribavirin should be avoided among patients who have severe kidney disease and have lost most of their kidneys function. Therapy with ribavirin|
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