Q: 43 year old male with a recent history of hematopoietic cell transplant is getting transferred out of ICU. He was treated with oral ribavirin while in ICU for his respiratory tract infection. What advise you will give to him and his wife?
Answer: Inhaled and oral Ribavirin has shown some efficacy in patients with hematopoietic cell transplant who develop respiratory infections with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Ribavirin is teratogenic and has a long half life. In childbearing age female patients, a negative pregnancy test is mandatory before prescribing ribavirin. It is also recommended to avoid Ribavirin in male patients whose partners are pregnant. And, if a man receives oral ribavirin, his female partner should avoid pregnancy for at least six months after the completion of the treatment.
Rebetol (ribivarin) www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/r/rebetol/rebetol_pi.pdf