Background Ribavirin is a drug used to treat hepatitis, but it is also used (off-label) for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
Purpose To evaluate the efficacy and safety of ribavirin when used for RSV treatment in haematological patients.
Material and methods Retrospective study during the RSV season. Parameters analysed were: sex, age, dose and treatment duration, laboratory confirmation of RSV, haemoglobin, LDH, bilirubin, and the need for transfusions.
The collected data were obtained by reviewing medical records and consulting the Savac prescription and validation program.
Results A total of 9 patients were included, 4 (44%) men. The median age was 49 years (range 13–69). The median number of days of treatment was 14 days (range 7–14) and all tested positive for RSV. The dose for all patients was 200 mg/day on the first two days and 1200 mg/day until the end of treatment. By the end of the treatment, the virus had been eradicated in 100% of patients.
Regarding safety, none of the patients presented symptoms of haemolytic anaemia. Haemoglobin remained constant throughout the treatment, with a median of 88 g/L at baseline and 91 g/L and 86 g/L at 7 and 14 days of treatment, respectively, with LDH constant at 400 IU/L throughout treatment and regular indirect bilirubin levels. Six (67%) of the patients received blood transfusions, but all of them had already received transfusions before ribavirin treatment. None of the patients presented symptoms of haemolytic anaemia, and no adverse effects were detected attributable to ribavirin.
Conclusion Treatment with ribavirin for RSV proved to be an effective treatment in our patients.
Since haemoglobin levels remained constant during treatment, and patients required transfusion due to the disease, treatment with ribavirin at this dose appears to be a safe treatment.
References And/or Acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
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