Ribavirin is an anti-virus remedy of direct effect (it targets the virus cell bodies and their internal structures). It is sold under its original brand name, or as a component of generic remedies with the same target diseases and effects on health, among which the most wide-spread one is Copegus.
Ribavirin is a synthetic nucleoside-inhibiting substance analog that, during in vitro tests and in-vivo research, showed destructive capabilities against RNA and DNA molecules of various viruses. The duplication of virus cells happens when DNA is doubled with the help of RNA. When there are 2 sets of DNA material ready inside a cell, a virus cell is ready to double itself through mitosis. These molecules are key to the virus multiplying itself and moving across the organism, and Ribavirin has been proven to damage the internal structure of DNA and RNA molecules, making them unable to perform their functions. However, the copegus mode of action when accompanied by Peginterferon alpha or Interferon alpha on the hep C virus has not yet been clarified.
With Hep C, a part of Ribavirin molecule is able to enter the structure of RNA, generating mutations that make it extremely unlikely for the cells to duplicate. Ribavirin is ingested through the gastrointestinal tract and metabolized and extracted in most part through the kidneys.
In most viruses, including hep C, monotherapy with Copegus (without including other anti-virus remedies) is not efficient for deactivating the hepatitis virus or for healing liver tissue after 6-12 months’ course, but also half a year after the end of intake period. Combined intake of Copegus together with Peginterferon alpha-2a or Interferon alphaa-2a in individuals with hep C is more effective than monotherapeutic intake of Interferon. Overall, the secrets of this anti-virus ribavirin action, and, more importantly, it’s hep C destruction effects, are yet to be discovered.
The dose of Ribavirin will strongly depend on your other health conditions and accompanying remedies. One pills will contain 200 milligrams of the active ingredient, and one ought to take 5-6 pills per 24 hours. If you forget about your pill intake, the ribavirin missed dose should be consumed as soon as you remember about it. The duration of taking the pills should be determined by your doctor, but it is likely to be a long-term course.
Because Hep C is an RNA virus, very often it shows significant copegus resistance, allowing the virus cells to continue spreading even during treatment. According to some studies, only 30%-40% of people who are taking the pill actually achieve the reduction of virus cell count in their liver, while the rest do not improve adequately. This is partially due to virus mutations that disable the action of Ribavirin, however, the actual reasons are unknown. In any case, Copegus still remains the most adequate remedy for combatting hep C, and further research promises to decrease viral resistance to its action.