Abstract
USE OF RIBAVIRIN IN THE TREATMENT OF LASSA FEVER: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

Peter Ekpunobi Chime*, Ethel Nkechi Chime, Titus Okpara

ABSTRACT

In Lassa fever endemic region of West Africa, ribavirin is the only recommended antiviral agent. Although, the effectiveness of ribavirin in Lassa fever treatment has been reported, questions have been raised regarding the efficacy and safety of ribavirin in Lassa fever patients with reduced aspartate aminotransferase levels. This article reviewed the various studies on the use of ribavirin in Lassa fever patients. Internet search was done for full articles on studies that evaluated Laser fever patients treated with ribavirin. The case fatality rates in Lassa fever were generally less in ribavirin treated patients than in non-ribavirin treated patients. Treatment with ribavirin was more effective when given early. Ribavirin had some adverse effects, but ototoxicity was not among the adverse effects reported on ribavirin. These retrospective studies did not address the issue of the effectiveness and safety of ribavirin in Lassa fever patients with reduced aspartate aminotransferase levels. Further studies are required to address the various shortcomings of these retrospective studies. However, randomized clinical trials recommended by some authors to address these shortcomings are likely to face some challenges.

Keywords: Treatment of Lassa fever, Ribavirin in Lassa fever, Lassa fever, Treatment of viral haemorrhagic fevers.


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