- 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.
Quick GuideHepatitis C (Hep C) Symptoms and Treatment
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).
Medically reviewed by John Cunha, DO
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.
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.
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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.
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Protease Inhibitors (PI) Drug Class
Protease Inhibitors (PIs) are a class of antiviral drugs prescribed to treat HIV and hepatitis (HCV) viral infections. There are several protease inhibitors that treat HIV infection, for example:
- Lexiva (fosamprenavir)
- Invirase (saquinavir)
- Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir)
- Viracept (nelfinavir)
- Norvir (ritonavir)
Examples of hepatitis C virus protease inhibitors include:
- Olysio (simeprevir)
- Technivie (ombitasvir/paritaprevir and ritonavir, a combination of these three drugs)
- Viekira Pak (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir and dasabuvir, a combination of these four drugs)
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