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Copegus

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Description

Copegus is in a class of antiviral medications called nucleoside analogues.

Copegus is manufactured by Genentech (member of the Roche group)..

Ribavirin, which is the antiviral active substance of Copegus, inhibits the multiplication of many types of viruses, including the hepatitis C viruses.

Ribavirin helps the immune system fight the virus, and makes it harder for the virus to reproduce within the body.

Copegus monotherapy is not effective for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection (genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4) and should not be used alone for this indication.

Copegus should be used with such medication as sofosbuvir (Hepcinat) or peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys) or peginterferon alpha-2b (PEG-Intron) to treat hepatitis C.

Ribavirin may also be used to treat severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Dosage

Take Copegus with food.

The recommended dose for Copegus ranges between 800mg to 1400mg/day, depending on the other medicines you are using in combination with Copegus.

- 800 mg/day: Take 2 Copegus 200 mg tablets in the morning and 2 tablets in the evening.

- 1000 mg/day: Take 2 Copegus 200 mg tablets in the morning and 3 tablets in the evening.

- 1200 mg/day: Take 3 Copegus 200 mg tablets in the morning and 3 tablets in the evening.

- 1400 mg/day: Take 3 Copegus 200mg tablets in the morning and 4 tablets in the evening.

Copegus should be used with such medication as sofosbuvir (Hepcinat) or peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys) or peginterferon alpha-2b (PEG-Intron) to treat hepatitis C.

Copegus monotherapy is not effective for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection and should not be used alone for this purpose.

Missing a dose

Copegus is used only when needed, therefore missed dosages are not relevant. Do not exceed the doctor's recommended dose.

Overdose

If an overdose occurs and you are not feeling well, you should seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F) and away from excess moisture and heat. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date. Keep out of the reach of children.

Side effects

Copegus has side effects. The most common are:

  • nausea, flu-like symptoms, tiredness
  • fever, chills or shaking
  • headache
  • mood changes, feeling irritable
  • muscle pain
  • stomach pain, vomiting, loss of appetite

Less common but more serious side effects during taking Copegus:

  • vision problems
  • severe upper stomach pain spreading to your back
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • stabbing chest pain, wheezing, feeling short of breath
  • severe depression, thoughts about suicide, or thoughts about hurting someone else
  • signs of serious anemia--pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, confusion or weakness
  • other signs of low blood cell counts--fever, chills, flu-like symptoms, swollen gums, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising

Side effects occurrence does not only depend on the medication you are taking, but also on your overall health and other factors.

Contraindications

Do not take Copegus if you are allergic to Copegus components.

Do not take Copegus if have a hemoglobin blood cell disorder such as sickle-cell anemia or thalassemia, autoimmune hepatitis, severe kidney disease, severe liver disease other than hepatitis C (especially cirrhosis).

Be careful with Copegus if you have heart disease, breathing problems, vision problems, a thyroid disorder, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV or AIDS), diabetes, a history of depression, mental illness, or suicide attempt, a history of organ transplant.

Do not take Copegus if you are also taking didanosine (Videx), azathioprine or medicines to treat HIV or AIDS.

Use at least 2 effective forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy while either sexual partner is taking Copegus. Keep using 2 forms of birth control for at least 6 months after treatment ends.

Be careful with Copegus if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.

Copegus is contraindicated in men whose female partners are pregnant.

Do not use Copegus in treatment of children under 18 years old.

Do not drive or operate machinery as Copegus may make you drowsy, dizzy or confused.

Take necessary precautions as Copegus does not prevent the spread of infection to other people through sexual contact, sharing needles or contact with blood.

To avoid dehydration while taking Copegus, drink extra fluids.

Q: What is Copegus?

A: Copegus is an effective anti-viral drug indicated for severe RSV infection, hepatitis C infection (used in conjunction with sofusbuvir or peginterferon alfa-2b or peginterferon alfa-2a) and other viral infections.

Q: How does Copegus work?

A: Ribavirin, which is the antiviral active substance of Copegus, inhibits the multiplication of many types of viruses, including the hepatitis C viruses. It helps the immune system fight the hepatitis C virus, and makes it harder for the virus to reproduce within the body.

Q: Is Copegus monotherapy effective for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C?

A: Copegus monotherapy is not effective for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection and should not be used alone for this purpose. Copegus should be used with such medication as sofosbuvir (Hepcinat) or peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys) or peginterferon alpha-2b (PEG-Intron) to treat hepatitis C.

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