Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library ribavirin (inhalation)

ribavirin (inhalation)

Pronunciation: RYE ba VYE rin

Brand: Virazole

What is the most important information I should know about ribavirin inhalation?

What is the most important information I should know about ribavirin inhalation?

Your child may have sudden breathing problems while being treated with this medicine. Your child's lung function will be tested often.

What is ribavirin inhalation?

What is ribavirin inhalation?

Ribavirin inhalation is an antiviral medicine that is used to treat babies and young children with severe lung infections caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Ribavirin inhalation may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving ribavirin inhalation?

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving ribavirin inhalation?

Your child should not be treated with this medicine if the child is allergic to ribavirin (such as Rebetol, RibaPak, Ribasphere, RibaTab).

This medicine is for use only in young children, but ribavirin can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects.

Ribavirin inhalation should not be used by a woman who is pregnant or may become pregnant, or a man whose sex partner is pregnant.

How is ribavirin inhalation given?

How is ribavirin inhalation given?

A healthcare provider will give your baby this medicine in a hospital.

Ribavirin inhalation is given with a machine that releases the medicine as an aerosol into an oxygen hood or tent, or a face mask. This allows your child to gently inhale the medicine over a long period of time.

Ribavirin inhalation is usually given for 12 to 18 hours per day for 3 to 7 days.

Small amounts of ribavirin may be released into the nearby air while this medicine is being given to your child. Anyone in close contact with the child may be exposed to ribavirin released into the air.

Your child's lung function will be tested often. The doctor may prescribe bronchodilator medication to help improve your child's breathing.

You may need to follow special precautions to avoid exposure to airborne ribavirin while your baby is being treated with this medicine. Carefully follow all directions about handling or being near your child.

Women who are able to become pregnant should avoid close contact with the child. Otherwise, take all safety precautions needed to reduce your exposure to ribavirin.

Being near a child who has RSV may increase your risk of becoming infected with the virus. Seek medical attention if you have symptoms such as headache, stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, fever, hoarseness, and wheezing.

Ribavirin inhalation is for use only in babies and young children and should not be used by an adult.

What happens if I miss a dose?

What happens if I miss a dose?

Because your child will receive ribavirin inhalation in a clinical setting, a missed dose is not likely.

What happens if I overdose?

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medicine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving ribavirin inhalation?

What should I avoid while receiving ribavirin inhalation?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions you should follow while caring for a child being treated with this medicine.

What are the possible side effects of ribavirin inhalation?

What are the possible side effects of ribavirin inhalation?

Get emergency medical help if your baby has signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Your baby will remain under constant supervision during treatment with ribavirin inhalation. Any problems the baby has during this time may require further treatment by healthcare professionals.

Sudden breathing problems may occur. Tell your baby's caregivers at once if the baby has any of these side effects:

  • fever, cough;
  • shallow breathing;
  • limpness or severe weakness;
  • wheezing, gasping for breath;
  • blue-colored lips, cold and clammy skin;
  • cough with mucus; or
  • other worsened breathing problems.

Although it may be unlikely, it is possible that ribavirin inhalation could be released into the air in amounts high enough to cause side effects in people who have close contact with the child receiving this medicine. Tell your doctor if you have any of these side effects while caring for the child:

  • chest pain, shortness of breath;
  • runny nose, sore throat;
  • headache, dizziness;
  • nausea;
  • rash; or
  • eye redness, watery eyes.

Some symptoms of exposure to airborne ribavirin in an adult may be similar to the symptoms of infection with RSV. Report any new symptoms to the doctor right away.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect ribavirin inhalation?

What other drugs will affect ribavirin inhalation?

Your child's caregivers will manage and monitor all medications given to the child during treatment with this medicine.

Do not give any medications to your child that have not been prescribed by your doctor. This includes vitamins, minerals, or herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor can provide more information about ribavirin.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details