Choose Ribavirin carefully

Ribavirin, commonly known as ribavirin, is used to treat viruses as the name suggests. It is currently widely used in the prevention and treatment of viral diseases. Ribavirin is an over-the-counter drug that can be purchased in pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription. Therefore, the abuse of ribavirin to treat various viral infections is very common in our country.

During the winter and spring flu season, some patients will self-administer ribavirin to treat flu, but this is an unreasonable way of medication.

Reproductive toxicity
At present, ribavirin is mainly used clinically in my country for the treatment of viral respiratory infections and skin herpes virus infections, and has become a common medicine in pediatrics. Therefore, some parents of children will give their children ribavirin for convenience. However, this approach is likely to cause serious adverse drug reactions in children.

It should be noted that the biggest risk of ribavirin is reproductive toxicity. A large number of studies have shown that ribavirin has obvious teratogenic and embryo-killing toxic effects on all species of animals. Its incidence and severity increase with the increase in dose, and the survival rate of fetus and offspring will be affected by the medication. reduce.

Hemolytic anemia
The main toxicity of ribavirin is hemolytic anemia. Hemoglobin decreases in the first 1 to 2 weeks after oral treatment, and about 10% of patients may have cardiopulmonary side effects. Hemoglobin should be monitored frequently before and after treatment and during treatment. Ribavirin is not recommended for patients with thalassemia and sickle cell anemia.

It has been reported that taking ribavirin in patients with anemia can cause fatal or non-fatal myocardial damage. Therefore, patients with a history of heart disease or obvious symptoms of heart disease should not use ribavirin. If you experience any worsening symptoms of heart disease with ribavirin, you should stop the drug immediately and go to the hospital for corresponding treatment.

Therefore, the National Adverse Drug Reaction Information Bulletin has notified the safety of ribavirin: it requires relevant professionals to pay attention to the safety of its reproductive toxicity and hemolytic anemia.

Not suitable for the following people
1. Elderly patients. Ribavirin’s domestic instructions pointed out that for elderly patients over 65 years old, sufficient clinical research has not been conducted. Ribavirin is more likely to develop anemia in elderly patients than in younger patients. The renal function of the elderly tends to decline, which is likely to lead to accumulation. Ribavirin is not recommended for elderly patients.

2. Pregnant and lactating women. Ribavirin’s domestic instructions point out that sufficient animal studies have confirmed that ribavirin has obvious mutagenicity and embryotoxicity (it can appear when it is less than 1/20 of the human dose), which can cause fetal congenital malformations or death . Men and women taking ribavirin should avoid pregnancy before the start of treatment, during treatment and at least 6 months after stopping the drug. Those who may become pregnant should use at least two or more contraceptive methods for effective contraception. Once they become pregnant, they should immediately inform their doctors. . Ribavirin is contraindicated in pregnant women. Because a small amount of the drug is excreted in breast milk, there is a potential risk to the baby, so ribavirin is not recommended for breastfeeding women.

In addition, although the current domestic ribavirin drug label only states that there is a lack of detailed research data on adverse reactions in children, the US Food and Drug Administration stipulates that ribavirin is used for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in patients aged 3 years and older and hospitalized infants. And children with severe respiratory syncytial virus lower respiratory tract infection. The European Agency for Drug Evaluation approved it for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in patients over 3 years of age. It can be seen that children under 3 years of age should use ribavirin with caution.