Cabotegravir

Adult Medication

This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.

Brand Names: US

Apretude; Vocabria

Brand Names: Canada

Vocabria

Warning

For HIV negative patients taking this drug to lower the chance of getting HIV through sex:

  • You must have a negative HIV test before taking this drug and before every injection. Tell your doctor if you think you have been exposed to HIV. Call your doctor right away if you have flu-like signs, fever, headache, tiredness, joint or muscle aches, throwing up, diarrhea, sore throat, rash, night sweats, or swollen glands. Call your doctor right away if you had any of these signs within 1 month before you start taking this drug.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat HIV infection.
  • It is used in HIV negative patients to lower the chance of getting HIV infection through sex.
  • When used to treat HIV infection, this drug must be taken with another drug called rilpivirine. Be sure you know about the warnings, benefits, and risks of rilpivirine.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

For all patients taking this drug:

  • If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifabutin, rifampin, or rifapentine.
  • If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.

For HIV negative patients taking this drug to lower the chance of getting HIV through sex:

  • If you have not been tested for HIV.
  • If the patient weighs less than 77 pounds (35 kilograms) or the patient is a child younger than 12 years of age.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

For all patients taking this drug:

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you have had hepatitis B or C, talk with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.

For patients taking this drug to treat HIV infection:

  • This drug is not a cure for HIV. Stay under the care of your doctor.
  • This drug does not stop the spread of diseases like HIV or hepatitis that are passed through blood or having sex. Do not have any kind of sex without using a latex or polyurethane condom. Do not share needles or other things like toothbrushes or razors.

For HIV negative patients taking this drug to lower the chance of getting HIV through sex:

  • This drug does not always prevent HIV. It needs to be used as part of a program that has other measures to help prevent HIV. This includes safer sex habits like using condoms, testing for diseases passed by having sex, and talking with sex partners who have HIV about their HIV treatment. Talk with the doctor for more information.
  • This drug does not stop the spread of other diseases like hepatitis that are passed through blood or having sex. Do not have any kind of sex without using a latex or polyurethane condom. Do not share needles or other things like toothbrushes or razors.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

For all patients taking this drug:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of depression, suicidal thoughts, emotional ups and downs, abnormal thinking, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Eye irritation.

For patients taking this drug to treat HIV infection:

  • Changes in your immune system can happen when you start taking drugs to treat HIV. If you have an infection that you did not know you had, it may show up when you take this drug. Tell your doctor right away if you have any new signs after you start this drug, even after taking it for several months. This includes signs of infection like fever, sore throat, weakness, cough, or shortness of breath.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

For all patients taking this drug:

  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Strange or odd dreams.

For patients taking this drug to treat HIV infection:

  • Anxiety.

For HIV negative patients taking this drug to lower the chance of getting HIV through sex:

  • Stomach pain or diarrhea.
  • Feeling dizzy, sleepy, tired, or weak.
  • Signs of a common cold.
  • Injection: Irritation where the injection was given.
  • Gas.
  • Throwing up.
  • Not hungry.
  • Back pain.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to your national health agency.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

For patients taking this drug to treat HIV infection:

  • Take this drug at the same time as rilpivirine with a meal.
  • Do not use a protein drink in place of a meal.
  • Keep taking this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • It is important that you do not miss or skip a dose of this drug during treatment.
  • If you take products that have iron, aluminum, calcium, magnesium, or zinc in them (like some antacids or vitamins), you may need to take them at some other time than this drug. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

For HIV negative patients taking this drug to lower the chance of getting HIV through sex:

  • Keep taking this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • It is important that you do not miss or skip a dose of this drug during treatment.
  • Tablets: Take with or without food.
  • If you take products that have iron, aluminum, calcium, magnesium, or zinc in them (like some antacids or vitamins), you may need to take them at some other time than this drug. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Injection: It is given as a shot into a muscle.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Tablets:

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • If you are not sure what to do if you miss a dose, call your doctor.

Injection:

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Tablets:

  • Store at room temperature in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Protect from heat.

Injection:

  • If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This generalized information is a limited summary of diagnosis, treatment, and/or medication information. It is not meant to be comprehensive and should be used as a tool to help the user understand and/or assess potential diagnostic and treatment options. It does NOT include all information about conditions, treatments, medications, side effects, or risks that may apply to a specific patient. It is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a health care provider based on the health care provider’s examination and assessment of a patient’s specific and unique circumstances. Patients must speak with a health care provider for complete information about their health, medical questions, and treatment options, including any risks or benefits regarding use of medications. This information does not endorse any treatments or medications as safe, effective, or approved for treating a specific patient. UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates disclaim any warranty or liability relating to this information or the use thereof. The use of this information is governed by the Terms of Use, available at https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/solutions/lexicomp/about/eula.

Last Reviewed Date

2022-01-05

Copyright

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Last Updated