Why is this medication prescribed?
Lenacapavir oral is used along with other medications to treat human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in certain adults. Lenacapavir is in a class of medications called HIV capsid inhibitors. It works by decreasing the amount of HIV in the blood. Although lenacapavir does not cure HIV, it may decrease your chance of developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and HIV-related illnesses such as serious infections or cancer. Taking these medications along with practicing safer sex and making other life-style changes may decrease the risk of transmitting (spreading) the HIV virus to other people.
How should this medicine be used?
Lenacapavir oral comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food once a day for the first two days before starting lenacapavir injection. In some cases, a third dose of lenacapavir oral may be given a week following your first dose of lenacapavir oral. Your doctor will decide how many doses of lenacapavir oral you should receive while or before starting lenacapavir injection. Take lenacapavir at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take lenacapavir exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Lenacapavir controls HIV but does not cure it. Continue to take lenacapavir even if you feel well. Do not stop lenacapavir without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking lenacapavir, your HIV may become more difficult to treat.
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 lenacapavir,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to lenacapavir, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in lenacapavir oral tablets. Ask your pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
- Some medications should not be taken with lenacapavir. Make sure you have discussed any medications you are currently taking or plan to take before starting lenacapavir with your doctor and pharmacist. Before starting, stopping or changing any medications while taking lenacapavir, please get the advice of your doctor or pharmacist.
- The following nonprescription or herbal products may interact with lenacapavir: St. John's Wort. Be sure to let your doctor and pharmacist know that you are taking these medications before you start taking lenacapavir. Do not start any of these medications while taking lenacapavir without discussing you're your healthcare provider.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking lenacapavir, call your doctor. You should not breastfeed if you are infected with HIV or if you are taking lenacapavir.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Talk to your doctor about eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medication.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Lenacapavir may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- any new symptoms or signs of infection such as fever, rash, swelling, fatigue, body aches, and joint pain
Lenacapavir may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (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 medication in the blister packs until ready to take the doses, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
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 has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to lenacapavir.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.