Ribavirin and Alcohol
Ribavirin belongs to a family of drugs known as antiviral medications and must be used with an interferon alfa product such as Pengintron or Intron A to treat chronic hepatitis C.
It is suggested that patients do not consume alcohol even moderate drinking while using this drug as even more damage may be done to the liver.
At this time the medical community defines moderate consumption of alcohol as no more than two drinks per day and no more than 14 drinks per week. If anything more than that it is considered an unhealthy dependency on alcohol that may have adverse social, family and health consequences.
If a person drinks only once or twice a week but drinks on the same days each week and more than two drinks this is considered as an alcohol dependency.
If a person binge drinks at any time during the week this is also considered as alcoholism.
Some consider alcoholism as a disease while others consider it an addiction which is the result of personal choice and character fault. This school of thought blames the alcoholism on life style choices.
Personally I consider alcoholism a genetic tendency as I have seen families of alcoholics even when they live far apart. These unfortunate people are probably dependent on alcohol from the first drink.
When alcohol interacts with prescription over the counter drugs it usually results in negative health effects most especially liver damage as the main organ affected.
Do not use this drug if you have severe liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, a haemoglobin disorder such as anemia, thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, taking didanosine or if pregnant or if your female partner is pregnant.
Before using this drug advise your doctor if you are allergic to any other drug or substance, if you are using dietary or herbal supplements, are pregnant, plan to be or are breastfeeding, have a history of kidney or liver disease, diabetes, hepatitis B infection, a blood cell disorder such as hemlytic anemia (lack of red blood cells) HIV or AIDS, pancreas disorder, sarcoidosis, breathing problems, thyroid disorder, new or worse eye problems, history of heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, history of depression or suicide, liver or other organ transplant or unsuccessful treatment for hepatitis C.
Less serious side effects are headache, muscle pain, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, tired or irritable, anxiety, mood changes, pain, swelling or irritation at injection site. If these occur call your physician for advice.
Serious side effects are severe allergic reactions such as hives difficult breathing, tight chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue, vision problems, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, severe pain in upper stomach spreading to the back, nausea, vomiting, fast heart rate, stabbing chest pain, wheezing, short of breath, severe depression, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself, chest pain, heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling, jaundice, dark coloured urine, bruising or bleeding, confusion or unusual weakness.If these occur get emergency medical help.
This site serves as an information source only and does not dispense medical advice or any other kind of advice. If you are seeking medical advice you are advised to consult your own physician.
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