Rebetol is a prescription antiviral medication and is the brand name for the generic formulation of Ribavirin. This drug is used together with an interferon alfa product like PegIntron, Pegasys or IntronA to treat Hepatitis C. It is a virus that causes inflammation in the liver. This condition can also be caused by certain medications, poisons, chemicals, other toxins or by other diseases. Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease which is spread through contact with the blood of an infected patient.

Important information

Ribavirin is used in treating chronic Hepatitis C. This infection could cause serious liver problems like cirrhosis or liver cancer. It is not clearly known how the drug works but it helps in reducing the amount of hepatitis C in the body. This results in reducing the damage in liver as well as helps for it to recover.

When you take Rebetol, it can lower the count of red cells in the blood that would cause anemia. This could be fatal for patients with a heart disease.

If you are a man and if your partner is pregnant then you should not take Rebetol drug. If you impregnate your partner while taking the drug, it would harm the fetus.

During the treatment with Rebetol, if you become pregnant notify your doctor immediately.If you or your sexual partner is taking the drug, it is important to take effective birth control measures.

Even after stopping the medication, it is better to avoid pregnancy for a period of 6 months.

Rebetol medication would affect a baby, so do not take this medication if you are breast feeding a baby. You should also not breast feed immediately after stopping the treatment, you have to wait till 6 months to start your breast feeding.

If you are taking Rebetol medication for hepatitis C then you have to combine it along with interferon alfa product.

Patients suffering from liver disease or chronic issue or if hepatitis is autoimmune, they should not take Rebetol drug along with Peginterferon Alfa 2A. Always follow the instructions that are given by your doctor during and after the treatment.


Rebetol medication can be taken orally as prescribed by the doctor and it is usually taken twice a day. Do not crush, break or chew a pill and it should be swallowed as a whole.

If the prescribed Rebetol medicine is in liquid form, measure the syrup with a dose-measuring spoon to avoid overdose. It is recommended not to use household spoons and to purchase it from a pharmacy.

Dosage strength would be prescribed depending on age, severity of the condition and response to treatment. It should be taken regularly to get better effectiveness from the drug.

Missing a dose and Overdose

The missed dose of Rebetol can be taken at the earliest unless it does not clash with the schedule of the next dose or else skip it. Increasing the dosage strength to cope up with the missed one should be avoided. This would only result in drug overdose. Seek medical emergency in case of drug overdose.

Side effects

Just like other drugs, side effects may be triggered while taking this pill.

  • Nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • chest pain,
  • breathing trouble,
  • depression,
  • thoughts about suicide,
  • anemia,
  • weakness,
  • fever,
  • headache,
  • change in mood,
  • stomach pain,
  • muscle pain,
  • loss of appetite.

It is important to seek medical assistance regarding side effects as soon as possible.

Relative Contraindications

It is very essential to consult the doctor before taking Rebetol. Tell the healthcare provider if there are any medical illness like severe kidney disease, hemoglobin blood cell disorder, autoimmune hepatitis, kidney or heart disease, AIDS, history of mental illness, diabetes, history of organ transplant, vision problem or liver problems other than hepatitis C.

It is better to avoid Rebetol pill if an individual is allergy symptoms. The drug can cause hazards to an unborn baby hence it is recommended not to start the course of therapy during pregnancy. It is essential to take effective birth control measures to prevent pregnancy.

Consult the doctor if a patient is nursing a baby, pregnant or planning to get pregnant. Ribavirin may cause gum disease or tooth decay, so consult with the dentist on a regular basis.


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