Victrelis : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Victrelis (Boceprevir) is used together with two other medications (ribavirin [Copegus, Rebetol] and peginterferon alfa [Pegasys]) to treat chronic hepatitis C (an ongoing viral infection that damages the liver) in people who have not yet been treated for this condition. or whose condition did not improve when treated with ribavirin and peginterferon alfa alone. Victrelis is in a class of medications called protease inhibitors. It works by reducing the amount of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the body. Victrelis may not prevent the spread of hepatitis C to other people.
How should this medicine be used?
Victrelis (Boceprevir) comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken with a meal or a light snack three times a day (every 7 to 9 hours). Take Victrelis at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take Victrelis exactly as directed. Do not take more or less or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
You will take peginterferon alfa and ribavirin for 4 weeks before starting treatment with Victrelis. Then you will take all three medications for 12 to 44 weeks. After this time, you will stop taking Victrelis, but you can continue taking peginterferon alfa and ribavirin for an additional number of weeks. The length of your treatment depends on your condition, how well you respond to the medicine, and if you experience serious side effects. Continue to take Victrelis, peginterferon alfa, and ribavirin for as long as your doctor prescribes them. Do not stop taking any of these medications without checking with your doctor, even if you feel fine.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you start treatment with Victrelis and each time you get a refill. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer’s website to obtain the Medication Guide.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking Victrelis,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Victrelis, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Victrelis capsules. Ask your pharmacist or see the Medication Guide for a list of ingredients.
- Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications or herbal products: alfuzosin (Uroxatral); ergot medicines such as dihydroergotamine (D.H.E.45, Migranal), ergonovine, ergotamine (Ergomar, in Cafergot, in Migergot) or methylergonovine; cisapride (Propulsid) (not available in the US); drospirenone (in some oral contraceptives such as Beyaz, Gianvi, Ocella, Safyral, Yasmin, Yaz and Zarah); lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor); certain medications for seizures, such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol), phenobarbital, or phenytoin (Dilantin); oral midazolam; pimozide (Orap); rifampicin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in IsonaRif, in Rifamate, in Rifater); sildenafil (only Revatio brand used for lung diseases); simvastatin (Simcor, in Vytorin); tadalafil (the only Adcirca brand used for lung disease); Grass of San Juan; or triazolam (Halcion). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take Victrelis if you are taking one or more of these medications.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: alprazolam (Niravam, Xanax); anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin); antifungal medications such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), posaconazole (Noxafil), and voriconazole (Vfend); atorvastatin (Lipitor, in Caduet); bosentan (Tracleer); budesonide (Pulmicort, Rhinocort, Symbicort); buprenorphine (Buprenex, Butrans, Subutex, Suboxone); calcium channel blockers such as felodipine (Plendil), nicardipine (Cardene), and nifedipine (Adalat, Afeditab, Procardia); clarithromycin (Biaxin); colchicine (Colcrys, in Col-Probenecid); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); desipramine (Norpramin); dexamethasone; certain erectile dysfunction medications such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn); certain HIV medications such as atazanavir taken with ritonavir, darunavir taken with ritonavir, efavirenz (Sustiva, in Atripla), lopinavir taken with ritonavir, and ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra); certain medications for irregular heartbeats such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), digoxin (Lanoxin), flecainide (Tambocor), propafenone (Rythmol), and quinidine; Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose); midazolam given intravenously (into a vein); rifabutin (Mycobutin); salmeterol (Serevent, in Advair); sirolimus (Rapamune); tacrolimus (Prograf); and trazodone. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have ever had an organ transplant and if you have or have ever had anemia (there are not enough red blood cells in the blood to carry oxygen to the rest of the body), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), any other condition that affects your immune system, or hepatitis B (a viral infection that damages the liver) or any type of liver disease other than hepatitis C.
- If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking Victrelis.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or could possibly become pregnant. If you are a man, tell your doctor if your partner is pregnant, plans to become pregnant, or could possibly become pregnant. Victrelis must be taken with ribavirin, which can seriously harm the fetus. You must use two forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy in yourself or your partner during your treatment with these medications and for 6 months after your treatment. Talk to your doctor about the methods to use; Hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, implants, rings, or injections) may not work well for women taking these drugs. You or your partner should take a pregnancy test every month during your treatment and for 6 months after your treatment. If you or your partner become pregnant while taking these medications, call your doctor immediately.
- Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose with food as soon as you remember. However, if it is 2 hours or less before the scheduled time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Victrelis may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- change in ability to taste
- loss of appetite
- excessive tiredness
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- hair loss
- dry skin
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- shortness of breath
- sore throat, fever, chills, and other signs of infection
Victrelis may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. You can store the capsules at room temperature and away from excess heat and humidity (not in the bathroom) for up to three months. You can also store the capsules in the refrigerator until the expiration date printed on the label has passed. Throw away any medicine that is out of date or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the correct way to dispose of your medicine.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or is unable to wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain laboratory tests to check your body’s response to Victrelis.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.