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Does ribavirin protect from the flu/cold?

Since we are on ribavirin, does it protect us against colds and the flu?
15 Responses
766573 tn?1365170066
I will let others get into the specifics about how antivirals work but in short: no. Ribavarin on its own does very little. It works in tandem with Interfon and possibly other combinations of drugs (as being studied in the "all oral" trials).

Plus my GI encouraged me to get a flu shot prior to treatment. This turned out to be wise advice since we had a bad outbreak of the flu this year.
3093770 tn?1389742726
I do not know about protecting but it appears that Riba is used to treat influenza cases. However the opinions are split

In Mexico, ribavirin ("ribavirina") has been sold for use against influenza.

In a randomized, controlled study of ribavirin aerosol treatment of influenza A(H1N1) virus infection among college students, treated patients had a significantly shorter duration of fever than control patients. There was a trend of more rapid recovery in treated patients.

Ribavirin, an antiviral drug with in vitro activity against both DNA and RNA viruses, is approved in the United States for the treatment of hepatitis C and respiratory syncytial virus.

A loading dose and short-term administration of oral ribavirin significantly improved symptoms and signs of influenza type A or B infection in 25 patients. The antiviral effect was not significant. No adverse clinical effects or significant laboratory values were observed. Oral treatment of patients with influenza A or B infection might be possible with ribavirin.
446474 tn?1446351282
No. Only current flu vaccine protects you against the various strains of flu.

If you read the Ribavirin Prescribing Information for ribavirin, right at the top of the label it says...

Indications and Usage for Ribavirin

'The safety and efficacy of Ribavirin tablet therapy for the treatment of adenovirus, RSV, parainfluenza or influenza infections have not been established. Ribavirin tablets should not be used for these indications.'

148588 tn?1465782409
As mentioned above, the best protetion against flu is vaccination. The ribavirin sold in Mexico for treatment of viral influenza is an inhaler. In other words it's applied directly to the lungs once you've already contracted influenza. As such, it's probably more effective than drugs still used  in the US such as amantadine and rimantadine which have gone from being aprox. 90% effective to being about 10% effective due to vral adaptation. SOC for treating flu is now a different class of drugs, oseltamivir (Tamiflu).
Avatar universal
Thanks for the answers. Has anyone taken theraflu while on treatment?  My boyfriend has a cold and I did my shot last night, so I wont know if it is the shot or the cold?!!?? SO, if I start to get symptoms just wondering if theraflu is okay in combo with the triple including incivek
1747881 tn?1546179478
Drug Interactions Results

Copegus (ribavirin)
Incivek (telaprevir)
Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a)
Theraflu Flu & Cough (acetaminophen / chlorpheniramine / dextromethorphan / pseudoephedrine)

Interactions between your selected drugs

No results found - however, this does not necessarily mean no interactions exist. ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

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