Ribavirin Drug and Rabavirin uses

The drug Ribavirin might be emerging as a new ray of light amidst the hopes to find a vaccination for the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease. Coronavirus Disease or COVID-19 has hit the human race globally, killing around 290k people and still counting. Countries have been testing different drugs on patients which might be a possibly be a cure by looking at the symptoms this disease is causing. Hospitals have been using the hydroxychloroquine drug so far, which is mainly used to treat malaria, to ease the symptoms like high fever, inflammation, etc in the patients of COVID-19.

Uses of the Ribavirin Drug

Ribavirin Drug and Rabavirin uses

Now, as far as Ribavirin uses are concerned, it is mainly used as an antiviral drug along with other medications (like interferon and sofosbuvir) to treat the condition of chronic hepatitis C which is a viral infection of the liver. Due to these antiviral properties of ribavirin, it has been tested on patients to see its effectiveness.

Study Supporting the Effectiveness of Ribavirin for COVID-19

In a study conducted to test the effectiveness of Ribavirin uses in combination with two other drugs in treating COVID-19, the patients were randomly divided into two groups – combination group and control group. Then both groups were treated with different types of Ribavirin dose with lopinavir-ritonavir and interferon. The study treatment started after 5 days from the onset of symptoms.

The first group, i.e., the combination group, were given ribavirin dose of 400 mg every 12 h, lopinavir 400 mg with ritonavir 100 mg every 12 h, and three doses of 8 million international units of interferon beta-1b on alternate days. On the other hand, the second group, the control group – was given 14 days of lopinavir 400 mg and ritonavir 100 mg every 12 h. The endpoint of doses was when the nasopharyngeal swab came negative for Covid-19. As a result, at the end of the study, the combination group’s swab came negative in an average of 7 days (5 to 11 days) as compared to the control group’s swab which turned negative in an average of 12 days (8 to 15 days). No deaths were witnessed during the study.

Concerns regarding Ribavirin

Ribavirin Drug and Rabavirin uses

Now, in case government decides to treat patients with this ribavirin dose with the other drug combinations, then a lot of other concerns arise like the ribavirin availability, possible ribavirin side effects on patients.

The government has been doing a great job in tracking and controlling the spread of coronavirus so far. But as per reports and predictions made by medical experts and administration, Indian is going to see a peak in COVID-19 cases during the months of June and July.

The drug is available in India in sufficient quantities as of now but the government will need to make sure that the supply of ribavirin remains steady and constant to hospitals and other centres where patients of COVID-19 are being treated. Also, since this is a global issue, importing and exporting of the drug might be a compromising situation which is why the attention to supply becomes even more important.

Ribavirin Brands and Price in India

As far as the ribavirin brands in India are concerned, here is a list of the companies and their brand name with their prices.

Rebetol – Fulford

Strength of the capsule : Rebetol 200mg

Volume of the pack : 12 capsules

Presentation or Name : Rebetol CAP

Price*: Rs  984.00

Ribamac – McNeil & Argus

Strength of the capsule : Ribamac 200mg

Volume of the pack : 140 capsules

Presentation or Name : Ribamac CAP

Price*: Rs 1000/bottle

Ribapro – United Biotech

Strength of the capsule: Ribapro 20mg

Volume of the pack : 8

Presentation : Ribapro CAP

Price*: Rs 611.80

Ribavin – Lupin (Pinnacle)

Ribavirin Drug and Rabavirin uses

1. Strength of the capsule : Ribavin 200mg

Volume of the pack : 4

Presentation or Name : Ribavin CAP

Price* : Rs 285.76

2. Strength of the syrup : Ribavin 50mg/5mL

Volume of the bottle : 30ml

Presentation or Name: Ribavin SYR

Price* : Rs 95.70

Rivirin – Synmedic Laboratories

1. Strength of the capsule : Rivirin 100mg

Volume of the pack : 30

Presentation or Name : Rivirin CAP

Price*: ——

2. Strength of the capsule: Rivirin 200mg

Volume of the pack : 30

Presentation or Name : Rivirin CAP

Price* : —–

3.       Strength of the capsule : Rivirin 400mg

Volume of the pack : 30

Presentation or Name : Rivirin CAP

Price*: ——

Virazide – Lupin

1. Strength of the capsule : Virazide 100mg

Volume of the pack : 4

Presentation or Name : Virazide TAB

Price* : Rs 113.37

2. Strength of the capsule : Virazide 200mg

Volume of the pack : 4

Presentation or Name : Virazide TAB

Price* : Rs 225.98

3. Strength of the syrup : Virazide 50mg/5mL

Volume of the bottle : 30ml

Presentation or Name : Virazide SYR

Price* – Rs 81.47

*Prices are subject to change.

Ribavirin Side Effects

Some of the common ribavirin side effects can include, nausea, fever and chills, headache, mood changes, muscle pain, stomach pain, vomiting and loss of appetite.

In view of the above ribavirin prices and the availability of ribavirin brands in India, it might get difficult to keep the supply of the ribavirin drug steady which is very important because one of the main ways to treat viral infections through this drug is to keep ribavirin dose at a constant level in the body during the duration of the treatment.

It is evident that ribavirin along with other anti viral drug doses is been able to treat patients affected with the coronavirus disease all over the world. Also, no deaths were recorded during this treatment. But people with underlying medical conditions might be vulnerable to this treatment especially those already dealing with liver conditions and others with hepatitis.

More research is needed to get approval for the treatment of COVID-19 with Ribavirin use from the FDA. But it’s good to see some hope in the way towards treating this overwhelming pandemic which has overpowered the whole world with its deadly consequences on the human race as well as economies.

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