Ribavirin Side Effects
What should I watch for?
See your doctor or health care professional for a follow-up visit as directed. You may need to have tests done to check your progress. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
This medicine may cause birth defects or death to an unborn child. Women taking this medicine must avoid pregnancy while taking this medicine and for 6 months after stopping this medicine. Men who are taking this medicine must avoid getting a woman pregnant while taking this medicine and for 6 months after stopping this medicine. Use 2 forms of birth control. Women who can still have children must have a negative pregnancy test before starting treatment. Take monthly pregnancy tests while you are taking this medicine and for 6 months after this medicine is stopped. Talk to your doctor if you think that you or your partner are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant.
Do not drink alcohol, including beer, wine, and liquor. This may make your liver disease worse.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe. Brush your teeth thoroughly twice daily and have regular dental examinations. Also, if you vomit, rinse out your mouth.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
black, tarry stools
body aches or pain
cough or hoarseness
difficult or labored breathing
dryness of the throat
feeling sad or empty
feeling unusually cold
fever or chills
general feeling of discomfort or illness
lack of appetite
loss of interest or pleasure
lower back or side pain
muscle aches and pains
painful or difficult urination
quick to react or overreact emotionally
rapidly changing moods
right upper abdominal or stomach pain
shortness of breath
sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
tender, swollen glands in the neck
tightness in the chest
trouble with concentrating
trouble with sleeping
trouble with swallowing
troubled breathing with exertion
unable to sleep
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
blood in the urine or stools
dry skin and hair
muscle cramps and stiffness
pinpoint red spots on the skin
right upper abdominal or stomach fullness
Incidence not known
Blistering, flaking, or peeling of the skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Acid or sour stomach
change in taste or bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
cracked, scaly skin
crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
difficulty with moving
dizziness or lightheadedness
feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
hair loss or thinning of the hair
lack or loss of strength
pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
sensation of spinning
stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
burning, dry, or itching eyes
discharge, excessive tearing
feeling of warmth
redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
redness, pain, swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
skin rash, encrusted, scaly, and oozing
Incidence not known
Change in hearing
loss of hearing
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.