This drug is incorporated into RNA base pairs guanine and adenosine. This induces hypermutations in RNA-dependant replication, leading to virus death.
This drug's DNA virus efficacy is not fully understood. It is known that Ribavirin inhibits cellular inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase, depleting intracellular GTP, which may play a role.
Ribavirin is primarily used to treat patients with chronic hepatitis C infections.
This medication is helpful in treating viral hemorrhagic fevers as well.
A common, but off-label use for Ribavirin is for the treatment of severe respiratory syncitial virus (RSV).
A common side effect of Ribavirin is hemolytic anemia, and patients taking this antiviral medication should not take any other medications which can compound this anemia. Patients should have their blood studies closely followed.
Ribavirin has severe teratogenic effects, and should be avoided in women who are pregnant.
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