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Generic Copegus is an anti-viral drug indicated for severe RSV infection, hepatitis C infection (used in conjunction with peginterferon alfa-2b or peginterferon alfa-2a), and other viral infections.
The active ingredient, Ribavirin is a prodrug, which when metabolized resembles purine RNA nucleotides. In this form it interferes with RNA metabolism required for viral replication.
How to take
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Generic Copegus is not effective when used alone to treat hepatitis C. It must be used together with an interferon product (such as Peg-Intron or Intron A) to treat chronic hepatitis C.
Take this medicine with food.
Generic Copegus may decrease the number of red blood cells in your body. This is called anemia and it can be life-threatening in people who have heart disease or circulation problems. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your vision, liver function, and thyroid function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
Call your doctor at once if you have pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, or weakness. These may be signs of serious anemia.
Use Generic Copegus regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Generic Copegus and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- problems with your vision;
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
- severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;
- stabbing chest pain, wheezing, feeling short of breath;
- severe depression, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
- chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling; or
- pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, easy bruising or bleeding, confusion, or unusual weakness.
- Less serious side effects may include:
- muscle pain;
- dry mouth;
- nausea; vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
- weight loss;
- feeling tired or irritable;
- anxiety, mood changes; or
- pain, swelling, or irritation where the interferon injection was given.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
Treatment with Generic Copegus does not prevent spread of the hepatitis C virus to other people. Follow your doctor's instructions about how to prevent passing the disease to another person.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage.
Generic Copegus may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
- abacavir (Ziagen);
- azathiopriine (Azasan, Imuran);
- lamivudine (Combivir, Epivir, Epzicom, Trizivir);
- stavudine (Zerit);
- tenofovir (Viread);
- zalcitabine (Hivid); or
- zidovudine (Retrovir, AZT).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Generic Copegus.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. If you have not taken the medication for longer than 24 hours, call your doctor for instructions. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Store Generic Copegus tablets and capsules at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
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