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Why is this medication prescribed?

Boceprevir is used to treat chronic hepatitis C (a persistent viral infection that damages the liver) in patients who have not yet received treatment for this condition or whose condition did not improve when they received treatment with ribavirin and peginterferon alfa alone (Copegus, Rebetol, and Pegasys). Protease inhibitors are a class of drugs that includes boceprevir. It functions by lowering the body’s level of hepatitis C virus (HCV). It’s possible that boceprevir won’t stop other people from getting hepatitis C.

How should this medicine be used?

Boceprevir is available as a pill to swallow. Three times a day, it is typically taken with a meal or light snack (every 7 to 9 hours). Boceprevir should be taken every day at roughly the same time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Boceprevir should be taken as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Before starting therapy with boceprevir, you will take peginterferon alfa and ribavirin for four weeks. Following that, you will take all three drugs for 12 to 44 weeks. You will stop taking boceprevir after this point, but you can keep taking peginterferon alfa and ribavirin for a few more weeks. Depending on your disease, how well you respond to the drug, and whether you encounter serious side effects, the length of your therapy will vary. As long as your doctor has recommended them, keep taking boceprevir, peginterferon alfa, and ribavirin. Regardless of whether you feel better, never stop taking any of these medications without first consulting your doctor.

Whenever you need a prescription refill for boceprevir, your doctor or pharmacist will provide you the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet (Medication Guide). If you have any questions, carefully read the material and contact your doctor or pharmacist. The Medication Guide is also available on the manufacturer’s website or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking boceprevir,

  • If you have any allergies, including to boceprevir, any other medications, or any of the substances in boceprevir capsules, notify your doctor right away. For a list of the ingredients, consult the Medication Guide or speak with your pharmacist.
  • Inform your physician if you are using any of the following drugs or natural remedies: alfuzosin (Uroxatral); ergot drugs such as dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), ergonovine, ergotamine (Ergomar, in Cafergot, in Migergot), or methylergonovine; cisapride (Propulsid) (not sold in the United States); drospirenone (in various oral contraceptives as Beyaz, Gianvi, midazolam taken orally, pimozide (Orap), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in IsonaRif, in Rifamate, in Rifater), sildenafil (only Revatio brand used for lung disease), simvastatin (Simcor, in Vytorin), tadalafil (only Adcirca brand used for lung disease), carbamazepine (Carbatrol (Halcion). If you are currently on one or more of these drugs, your doctor generally won’t let you take boceprevir.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and dietary supplements that you now take or intend to take. Be certain to bring up any of the following: alprazolam (Niravam, Xanax); blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin); antifungal drugs including itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), posaconazole (Noxafil), and voriconazole (Vfend); atorvastatin (Lipitor, in Caduet); bosentan (Tracleer); budesonide (Pulmicort, Rhinocort, Symbicort); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), desipramine (Norpramin), felodipine (Plendil), nicardipine (Cardene), and nifedipine (Adalat, Afeditab, Procardia); clarithromycin (Biaxin); colchicine (Colcrys, in Col-Probenecid); nifedipine (Adalat, Afeditab, Procardia); sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn), among other erectile dysfunction drugs; some HIV drugs, including atazanavir and lopinavir together with ritonavir, darunavir and ritonavir together with efavirenz (Sustiva, in Atripla), and ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra); such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), digoxin (Lanoxin), flecainide (Tambocor), propafenone (Rythmol), and quinidine; methadone (Dolophine, Methadose); intravenously administered midazolam; sirolimus (Rapamune), tacrolimus (Prograf), rifabutin (Mycobutin), salmeterol (Serevent, in Advair), and trazodone. Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
  • Inform your physician if you have ever undergone an organ transplant, if you suffer from anaemia (lack of enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of the body), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B (a viral infection that damages the liver), or any liver disease other than hepatitis C.
  • Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking boceprevir if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
  • If you are pregnant, intend to get pregnant, or think you might be pregnant, let your doctor know. Whether you’re a man, let your doctor know if your girlfriend is expecting, intends to get pregnant, or has a chance of doing so. Ribavirin, which poses a major risk to the foetus, must be administered along with boceprevir. When taking these pills and for six months afterward, you must use two forms of birth control to avoid getting pregnant yourself or with your partner. If you are using these medications, hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills, patches, implants, rings, or injections, may not work as well for you. Discuss your options with your doctor. Every month during therapy and for six months after treatment, you or your partner must be tested for pregnancy. While taking these medications, call your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant.
  • Inform your doctor if you are nursing a baby.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

As soon as you recall, take the missed dose with food. If there are two hours or less until your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Boceprevir could have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Alteration in flavour perception
  • Reduced appetite
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Irritability
  • Hair fall
  • Scaly skin
  • Rash

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away or seek emergency medical attention if you develop any of these signs or any of the ones detailed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Weakness
  • Infection symptoms such as a sore throat, fever, chills, and others

Boceprevir may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. The capsules can be kept for up to three months at room temperature, away from sources of extreme heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Until the expiration date on the label has passed, you can also keep the capsules in the refrigerator. Medication that has expired or is no longer required should be thrown away. Consult your pharmacist for advice on how to properly dispose of your medications.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To monitor your body’s reaction to boceprevir, your doctor will request specific lab tests.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information on you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Victrelis®
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