What is ribavirin?

Ribavirin was first developed in 1972 to help fight hepatitis c virus infections.

For the longest time it was the only option for the treatment of hepatitis C.

What is it used for?

It is often used to treat viral hemorrhagic fevers and hepatitis C.

It has shown some effectiveness in fighting hepatitis C infections when used with pegylated interferon alfa.

HIV and hepatitis B co-infection treatment in adults and pediatric population has shown to be effective.

The World Health Organization has put this medicine on the List of Essential Medicines.

How does it work?

It worked in disrupting the mechanisms of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in viruses.

Safe to use without too many severe side effects or toxicity.

What are the brand names of ribavirin?

Brand names in the US:

  1. Copegus
  2. Ribashpere
  3. Rebetol

Brand names in India:

  1. Ribasure
  2. Ribamune
  3. Mibavirin
  4. Ribavin
  5. Emvarin

What is cost in the US and in India?

The cost for 200 mg, 140 capsules in the US is about $200.

Due to the low cost of manufacturing, India is able to mass produce ribavirin for a fraction of the cost.

On average you will pay approximately $30 to $80 for 140 capsules, 200 mg tablets.

What is the dosage for hepatitis C treatment?

Ribavirin is taken based on your weight with new hepatitis C drugs.

If you weigh 165 pounds (75kg) or less you take 1000mg of ribavirin a day. If You weigh 165 pounds (75kg) or more you take 1200mg of ribavirin a day.

What about new hepatitis C drugs and ribavirin?

Nowadays, ribavirin is sometimes used with Sovaldi, Harvoni or Epclusa.  It really depends on what your healthcare team recommends.  There is no one size fits all.  It really depends on your genotype and if you have tried to beat the hepatitis C virus with direct acting antivirals (DAAs).