Boceprevir is used along 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 they were treated with ribavirin and peginterferon alfa alone. Boceprevir is in a class of medications called protease inhibitors. It works by decreasing the amount of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the body. Boceprevir may not prevent the spread of hepatitis C to other people.
Boceprevir comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken with a meal or light snack three times a day (every 7 to 9 hours). Take boceprevir at around the same times 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 boceprevir exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
You will take peginterferon alfa and ribavirin for 4 weeks before you begin treatment with boceprevir. Then you will take all three medications for 12 to 44 weeks. After this time, you will stop taking boceprevir, but you may continue to take 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 medication, and whether you experience severe side effects. Continue to take boceprevir, peginterferon alfa, and ribavirin as long as they are prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking any of these medications without talking to your doctor even if you are feeling well.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with boceprevir and each time you refill your prescription. 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 ( Web Site) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking boceprevir,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose with food as soon as you remember it. 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 a missed one.
Boceprevir 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 or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
Boceprevir 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 ( Web Site ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. You may store the capsules at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (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 medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
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. Web Site
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to boceprevir.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
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.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: October 15, 2012.