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    Drug Information

    Common brand names:

    Copegus, Rebetol, Ribasphere, RibaPak, Ribatab

    Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods

    Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

    Replenish Depleted Nutrients

    • none

    Reduce Side Effects

    • Fish Oil
      Anemia is one of the side effects of ribavirin therapy. In a preliminary trial, supplementing with EPA partially prevented the decline in hemoglobin levels in patients with hepatitis C who were being treated with the combination of ribavirin and pegylated interferon alpha-2b.1
    • L-Carnitine
      In a randomized trial, patients with chronic hepatitis C who were being treated with Peg-interferon-alpha 2b and ribavirin were randomly assigned to receive L-carnitine (2 grams twice a day) or no L-carnitine (control group). Compared with the control group, fewer patients in the L-carnitine group had to reduce the medication dosage or discontinue treatment because of side effects such as anemia or a decline in the white blood cell count.2

    Support Medicine

    • none

    Reduces Effectiveness

    • none

    Potential Negative Interaction

    • none

    Explanation Required 

    • none

    The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers' package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.


    1. Suzuki M, Inage E, Minowa K, et al. Prophylaxis for ribavirin-related anemia using eicosapentaenoic acid in chronic hepatitis C patients. Pediatr Int 2012;54:528-31.

    2. Malaguarnera M, Vacante M, Giordano M, et al. L-carnitine supplementation improves hematological pattern in patients affected by HCV treated with Peg interferon-alpha 2b plus ribavirin. World J Gastroenterol 2011;17:4414-20.

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