Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 63, Issue 7, pp 832–842

The metabolism, pharmacokinetics and mechanisms of antiviral activity of ribavirin against hepatitis C virus


DOI: 10.1007/s00018-005-5455-y

Cite this article as:
Dixit, N.M. & Perelson, A.S. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2006) 63: 832. doi:10.1007/s00018-005-5455-y


Ribavirin, a broad spectrum antiviral agent, in conjunction with interferon forms the current standard of treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in humans. While ribavirin alone fails to induce a significant antiviral response, in combination with interferon, ribavirin dramatically improves the long-term outcome of therapy. The predominant mechanism(s) of ribavirin action against HCV, are yet to be established. In this review, we examine the current status of our understanding of the metabolism, pharmacokinetics and mechanisms of the antiviral activity of ribavirin against HCV, all of which are central to the rational identification of improved treatment protocols.


Mutagenesistreatment responseviral dynamicsmathematical modelmonotherapycombination therapy

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.Theoretical Biology and Biophysics, Theoretical DivisionLos Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA