- What is telaprevir, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for telaprevir?
- Is telaprevir available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for telaprevir?
- What are the side effects of telaprevir?
- What is the dosage for telaprevir?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with telaprevir?
- Is telaprevir safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about telaprevir?
What is telaprevir, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Telaprevir is a man-made antiviral medication that targets hepatitis C virus (HCV). Similar drugs include simeprevir (Olysio) and boceprevir (Victrelis). These drugs are called direct-acting antiviral agents because they act directly on hepatitis C virus. They block the replication of hepatitis C virus in human cells by binding to and inhibiting protease enzymes that HCV use for reproducing. Inhibiting viral replication reduces HCV viral load in the body to undetectable levels in some patients. The FDA approved Telaprevir in August 2011.
What brand names are available for telaprevir?
Incivek (This drug was discontinued by the manufacturer, but will be available until October 2014)
What are the side effects of telaprevir?
Side effects of telaprevir are
- anal or rectal pain,
- altered taste senses,
- and anemia.
Telaprevir can cause serious skin reactions or rash, including Stevens Johnson syndrome (SJS), drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). Telaprevir should be discontinued if serious skin reactions or rash occur.
Which drugs or supplements interact with telaprevir?
Telaprevir should not be combined with alfuzosin (Uroxatral), sildenafil (Viagra), and tadalafil (Cialis) because it can increase their blood levels, leading to increased side effects from these drugs.
Telaprevir (Incivek) is not combined with carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), rifampin, and St. John's wort because they can increase the breakdown of telaprevir and decrease the effectiveness.
Telaprevir (should be used with caution with HIV medications like atazanavir (Reyataz), ritonavir, (Norvir), darunavir (Prezista), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), efavirenz (Sustiva), and lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra) because it leads to fluctuating levels of telaprevir and the HIV medications, leading to decreased effectiveness.
Telaprevir should be used with caution with arrhythmia medications because the combination can increase the risk of irregular heart rate and rhythm.
Telaprevir (Incivek) should be used with caution with antifungal medications like ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), and posaconazole (Noxafil); antibiotics erythromycin (Erythrocin) and clarithromycin (Biaxin); immunosuppressant medications like cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), tacrolimus (Prograf), and sirolimus (Rapamune). Telaprevir can slow the breakdown of these medications and increase their levels in the body, leading to increased side effects and toxicity.
Is telaprevir safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Telaprevir is combined with ribavirin and peginterferon alfa which cause fetal harm and birth defects if used in pregnant mothers or in male partners of women who are pregnant. Female patients of childbearing potential and their male partners as well as male patients and their female partners must use two effective contraceptive methods during treatment and for 6 months after treatment. Female patients should have monthly pregnancy tests during treatment and for 6 months after stopping treatment.
It is not known whether telaprevir enters breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in nursing mothers. To avoid any potential risk to the newborn, a decision must be made to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug.
What else should I know about telaprevir?
What preparations of telaprevir are available?
Tablets: 375 mg
How should I keep telaprevir stored?
Store telaprevir tablets between temperatures of 15 C 30 C (59 F 86 F).
Quick GuideHepatitis C (Hep C) Symptoms and Treatment
telaprevir (Incivek) is an antiviral medication prescribed for the treatment of hepatitis C in adults with compensated liver disease and have not been treated prior, or have failed previous treatment. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Hepatitis C Quiz: What is Hepatitis C?
How many Americans have hepatitis C? Take this quiz to learn the facts about this chronic disease....
Liver Disease Quiz: Fatty Liver Disease, Cirrhosis & Symptoms
What is liver disease? Take the Liver Disease Quiz and test your knowledge about this organ and its function....
Picture of Liver
Front View of the Liver. The liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly. See a picture of the Liver...
Hepatitis C, Hep B, Hep A: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
What is hepatitis? Hepatitis A, B, and C spread in different ways, causing mild to serious effects on the liver. Learn about...
Hepatitis: How Do You Get Hepatitis A, B, and C?
Hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B can make an infected person very sick and they are risk factors for liver cancer, liver...
Hepatitis C (Hep C) Symptoms and Treatment
What is Hepatitis C (Hep C, HVC)? Learn about hepatitis c symptoms, how you get hepatitis c, contagiousness, and hepatitis C...
Related Disease Conditions
Liver (Anatomy and Function)
The liver is the largest gland and organ in the body. There are a variety of liver diseases caused by liver inflammation,...
Cirrhosis of the liver refers to a disease in which normal liver cells are replaced by scar tissue caused by alcohol and viral...
Hepatitis (Viral Hepatitis, A, B, C, D, E, G)
Hepatitis is most often viral, due to infection with one of the hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D, E, F (not confirmed), and G) or...
Hepatitis C (HCV, Hep C)
Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is usually spread by blood transfusion,...
Liver disease can be cause by a variety of things including infection (hepatitis), diseases such as: gallstones, high...
Is Hepatitis C Contagious?
Hepatitis C or hep C causes acute and chronic liver disease. Hep C is a form of liver disease with symptoms like: fatigue,...
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.