When it comes to treating cases of hepatitis C, two drugs are often used in tandem. One of them is interferon, which is a compound that works by fighting against bodily invaders via an injection. The other drug is known as ribavirin, which is an oral capsule which can help the body to fend off the hepatitis virus.
These drugs are very useful when it comes to keeping the virus at bay, but they are not without their side effects. In this article, well examine some of the side-effects that ribavirin can cause so that you can know what to do when they occur.
How to Cope with Ribavirin Rashes
One problem that can occur when taking ribavirin is the occurrence of rashes on the skin. They often occur across the arms and about the torso. In order to aid the rashes, there are a few things that you can do. Taking baths composed of cool water and using moisturizing soap can be of great help in dealing with the issue.
Hydrocortisone cream is also useful when it comes to relieving the irritation that the rashes may cause. Also, be sure to keep out of the sun while the rashes are present, as it can cause further damage. Avoid using hot water when it comes to bathing or taking showers, as it can damage the skin.
Another problem with ribavirin is the fact that it can cause allergic reactions to take place. You may experience a form of irritation that occurs in the mouth and throat due to the treatment. One good way of getting rid of a sore throat is to regularly gargle with salt water.
You should also avoid solid foods and instead should opt for smooth liquids. Hot foods can irritate your throat, so stick to lukewarm or cold foods while the sore throat is present. Spicy and salty foods may also be troublesome, and carbonated beverages and sodas can cause further damage.
One unfortunate side effect of ribavirin treatment is the fact that it may kill some of your red blood cells. This can cause you to have a dry mouth and a lack of saliva.
One good way of helping your body to produce saliva is to suck on sweet, non-sugar candies or lozenges. Also, be sure to keep hydrated, as being dehydrated can further amplify the problem.
Also, ribavirin treatment can result in a case of anemia. Anemia occurs when there is a lack of red blood cells, and it can, in turn, lead to some severe headaches. In order to lessen the headaches, you may want to drink fluids and ensure that you are getting plenty of sleep. Hot baths can also be helpful, and if your headache wont go away, you may want to take a nap in a completely dark and quiet room.
While there are many side effects that ribavirin can cause, the treatment is sometimes necessary when it comes to keeping your liver in good health. There are many ways of keeping the side-effects to a minimum, and its important to know them in order to keep in good spirits.