Common Brand Name(s): Virazole
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Caution is advised when using this medication in people who are using a certain breathing device (ventilator). Read and follow the manufacturer's directions for use and care of the ventilator. Follow all directions from the manufacturer to prevent particle buildup in the device. Doing so will help the device work properly and may prevent serious side effects (e.g., air pressure buildup inside the lungs).
Infrequently, sudden worsening of breathing problems may occur, especially when this medication is first started. If this occurs, treatment should be stopped. If you and the doctor decide to restart ribavirin treatment, the doctor will monitor closely to decrease the risk of side effects.
This medication is an anti-viral drug used to treat infants and young children who have a severe lung infection caused by a certain virus (respiratory syncytial virus-RSV). Nearly all children become infected with this virus before they are 3 years old. Most cases are mild and do not require anti-viral drugs. This medication is used to treat severe RSV infections that need treatment in a hospital.
Ribavirin for inhalation is not recommended for use in adults.
How To Use
Read and learn all preparation and usage instructions supplied by the manufacturer. Follow all instructions for proper mixing. Before using, check the product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.
This medication is given by continuous inhalation, usually for 12 to18 hours daily for 3 to 7 days or as directed by the doctor. A special machine (small-particle aerosol generator) is used to make a mist, which is then inhaled through the mouth or nose.
Health care workers providing care to patients receiving this medication should learn all precautions for handling/giving this medication (e.g., wearing a mask, room ventilation). The manufacturer recommends that health care workers who are pregnant should consider avoiding direct care of patients using this medication. This medication must not be used during pregnancy since it may harm an unborn baby. Consult the manufacturer's package or the hospital/occupational safety guidelines for details.
Chest soreness may occur. Redness/irritation of the eye or eyelid may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell the doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that the doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to your child is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell the doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:
- pale/bluish skin around the mouth/lips/fingernails
- worsening of breathing trouble
- slow/fast/irregular heartbeat
Tell the doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur:
This medication may rarely cause anemia, usually within 1 to 2 weeks after treatment is started. Tell the doctor right away if you notice any symptoms of anemia such as unusual tiredness or fast/pounding heartbeat.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact the doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before your child receives ribavirin for inhalation, tell the doctor or pharmacist if your child is allergic to it; or if your child has any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell the doctor or pharmacist your child's medical history, especially of:
- breathing disorders (e.g., asthma)
This product is not usually used in adults. Therefore, it is unlikely to be used during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Consult your doctor if you have any questions about this product. (See also health care worker information in How to Use section.)
The doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring your child for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with the doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell the doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products your child may use, especially of:
- certain HIV drugs (didanosine, stavudine, zidovudine)
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., pulmonary function, blood counts) should be performed periodically to monitor your child's progress or check for side effects. Consult the doctor for more details.
If a dose is interrupted or stopped, contact the doctor to establish a new dosing schedule.
Store the unmixed vials at room temperature at 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. After mixing, store the liquid at room temperature between 68-86 degrees F (20-30 degrees C). Use or discard mixed medication within 24 hours. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard this product.
Information last revised July 2016.
Copyright(c) 2016 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.