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
Brand Names: Canada
- You will be tested for hepatitis B before starting this drug. In people who have had hepatitis B or carry the virus, the virus has become active again during or after treatment with drugs like this one. This can lead to severe and sometimes deadly liver problems. People with hepatitis B and hepatitis C will be watched closely during and after treatment.
What is this drug used for?
- It is used to treat hepatitis C infection.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take 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 have ever had liver problems other than hepatitis C.
- If you are taking a drug that contains ethinyl estradiol, like certain birth control pills. Do not take a drug that contains ethinyl estradiol while taking this drug.
- If you take any drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) that must not be taken with this drug, like certain drugs that are used for HIV, infections, or seizures. There are many drugs that must not be taken with this drug.
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?
- 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 take drugs to lower blood sugar, talk with your doctor. This drug may raise the chance of low blood sugar when used with drugs to lower blood sugar. Watch blood sugar closely.
- It is not known if this drug stops the spread of 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. Talk with your doctor.
- Liver problems have happened with this drug. Liver problems have also gotten worse in people who already have them. Rarely, this has been deadly. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
- If giving this drug to your child and your child’s weight changes, talk with the doctor. The dose of this drug may need to be changed.
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:
- 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 liver problems like dark urine, tiredness, decreased appetite, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
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:
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Upset stomach.
- Throwing up.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
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 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.
- Take this drug with food.
- 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 have trouble swallowing, talk with your doctor.
- Do not open until you are ready to use.
- Sprinkle the pellets on a small amount of soft food that does not have a lot of water in it that will stick to a spoon. This includes peanut butter, chocolate hazelnut spread, cream cheese, thick jam, and Greek yogurt. Do not use liquids or foods that would slide off the spoon. Mix well without crushing the pellets. Swallow without chewing.
- Take your dose within 15 minutes after mixing. Throw away any part not used within 15 minutes of mixing.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it, with food.
- If it has been more than 18 hours since the missed dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the 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.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
- Store in the original container at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- 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.
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