Generic Name: boceprevir, Oral capsule

Generic Name:

boceprevir, Oral capsule

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SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for boceprevir

Oral capsule
1

Boceprevir is an oral drug used to treat the hepatitis C virus infection.

2

Don’t take this drug alone. If you do, the virus may become resistant to this medication. This means it won’t work to treat your infection. Always take it with the drugs peginterferon alfa and ribavirin.

3

The recommended dose is 800 mg (four 200-mg capsules) taken three times per day with food.

4

Side effects include headache, tiredness, nausea, and changes in taste.

5

You or your partner should not become pregnant if either of you are taking this drug with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin and for 6 months after stopping. It can cause birth defects in an unborn baby.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Pregnancy warning

Ribavirin can cause birth defects or death of an unborn baby. You or your partner should not become pregnant if either of you are taking boceprevir with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin and for 6 months after stopping.

Risk of anemia

Using boceprevir in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin can decrease the number of red blood cells in your body and cause anemia. This means you don’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body’s organs.

Low white blood cells risk

This drug combination can decrease your white blood cell count and platelets (which are needed for blood to clot). This means that your immune system can’t fight infections as well, so you’ll have an increased risk for serious infections. Having low platelets may increase your risk for bleeding.

Drug Features

Boceprevir is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral capsule.

This drug is part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs. Boceprevir should always be taken in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin. Don’t use boceprevir alone.

Why It's Used

Boceprevir is used to treat the hepatitis C virus infection. It’s always used in combination with the drugs peginterferon alfa and ribavirin.

How It Works

Boceprevir belongs to a class of drugs called protease inhibitors.

More Details

How It Works

Boceprevir belongs to a class of drugs called protease inhibitors. The hepatitis C virus needs an enzyme called protease to make copies of itself. Protease inhibitors block the enzyme, which helps to limit the virus’s ability to replicate and spread in your body.

SECTION 2 of 5

boceprevir Side Effects

Oral capsule

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with boceprevir in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin include:

  • tiredness

  • nausea

  • headache

  • changes in taste

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • serious allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

    • itching
    • hives
    • swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat
    • trouble breathing or swallowing
  • low red blood cell count (anemia). Symptoms may include:

    • a general feeling of weakness
    • tiredness
    • dizziness
    • rapid heart rate
    • trouble sleeping
    • pale skin
  • low white blood cell count. Symptoms may include:

    • symptoms of an infection, such as fever, chills, tiredness, and a general feeling of weakness
  • low platelets. Symptoms may include:

    • gums that bleed easily when you brush your teeth
    • nosebleeds
    • blood in your urine or stool
    • bruises or cuts that take a long time to stop bleeding
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Boceprevir does not cause drowsiness.

Mild side effects may disappear within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go away.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

boceprevir May Interact with Other Medications

Oral capsule

Boceprevir can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Alcohol Interaction

Avoid drinking alcohol if you have hepatitis C. Drinking alcohol may cause more damage to your liver.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Do not take boceprevir with these drugs
  • medications used for an enlarged prostate:
    • alfuzosin (Uroxatral)
    • tamsulosin (Flomax, Jalyn)
    • silodosin (Rapaflo)
  • anti-seizure medications:
    • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol, Tegretol XR, Teril)
    • phenobarbital
    • phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • cisapride (Propulsid)
  • birth control medications that contain drospirenone (Yaz, Yasmin, Zarah, Ocella, Gianvi, Beyaz, Angeliq, Loryna, Syeda, Safyral)
  • doxazosin (Cardura, Cardura XL)
  • ergot-containing medicines:
    • dihydroergotamine mesylate (D.H.E. 45, Migranal)
    • ergonovine and methylergonovine (Ergotrate, Methergine)
    • ergotamine tartrate (Cafergot, Migergot, Ergomar, Erogstat, Medihaler Ergotamine, Wigraine, Wigrettes)
  • cholesterol drugs:
    • simvastatin (Simcor, Vytorin, Juvisync, Zocor)
    • lovastatin (Advicor, Altoprev, Mevacor)
  • sedatives:
    • midazolam, when taken by mouth
    • triazolam (Halcion)
  • pimozide (Orap)
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifamate, Rifater, Rimactane)
  • sildenafil (Revatio), and tadalafil (Adcirca), when used for treating lung problems
  • St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) or products containing St. John’s wort

Drugs that may need dosage adjustments or be stopped
  • atazanavir (Reyataz)
  • clarithromycin (Biaxin, Biaxin XL, Prevpac)
  • darunavir (Prezista)
  • dexamethasone
  • efavirenz (Sustiva, Atripla)
  • etravirine (Intelence)
  • itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox)
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • lopinavir (Kaletra)
  • posaconazole (Noxafil)
  • rifabutin (Mycobutin )
  • ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra)
  • voriconazole (Vfend)

Drugs to be monitored closely
  • alprazolam (Xanax)
  • amiodarone (Cordarone, Nexterone, Pacerone)
  • amlodipine (Amturnide, Norvasc, Tekamlo)
  • atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • bepridil (Vascor)
  • bosentan (Tracleer)
  • budesonide (Pulmicort, Pulmicort Flexhaler, Rhinocort, Pulmicort Respules, Symbicort)
  • buprenorphine (Butrans, Buprenex, Suboxone, Subutex)
  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune)
  • desipramine (Norpramin)
  • digoxin (Lanoxin)
  • diltiazem (Cardizem, Cardizem CD, Cardizem LA, Cartia XT, Dilacor XR, Dilt-CD, Diltzac, Tiazac, Taztia XT)
  • escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • felodipine (Plendil)
  • fluticasone (Veramyst, Flovent HFA, Flovent Diskus , Advair HFA, Advair Diskus)
  • hormonal forms of birth control, including birth control pills, vaginal rings, implants and injections
  • hormone replacement therapy
  • methadone (Methadose, Dolophine)
  • naloxone
  • nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat CC, Procardia XL, Afeditab CR)
  • nicardipine (Cardene SR, Cardene)
  • nisoldipine (Sular)
  • omeprazole
  • prednisone
  • oral and IV prednisolone
  • pravastatin (Pravachol)
  • propafenone (Rythmol, Rythmol SR)
  • quinidine
  • raltegravir (Isentress)
  • salmeterol (Advair HFA, Advair Diskus, Serevent)
  • sildenafil (Viagra), when used for treating erectile dysfunction
  • sirolimus (Rapamune)
  • tacrolimus (Prograf)
  • tadalafil (Cialis), when used for treating erectile dysfunction
  • colchicine (Colcrys, Probenecid and Colchicine, COL-Probenecid)
  • trazodone (Oleptro)
  • vardenafil (Staxyn, Levitra), when used for treating erectile dysfunction
  • verapamil (Calan, Calan SR, Covera-HS, Tarka, Verelan, Verelan PM)
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with liver problems

If you have severe liver disease, let your doctor know. It isn’t known if this medication will work or be safe for you.

People with organ transplant

If you’ve received an organ transplant, such as a liver, kidney, or heart, let your doctor know. It isn’t known if this medication will work or be safe for you.

Pregnant women

Boceprevir, when used in combination with peginterferon and ribavirin, is a category X pregnancy drug. Category X drugs should never be used during pregnancy.

Ribavirin can cause birth defects or death of an unborn baby. You or your partner should not become pregnant while taking boceprevir in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin and for 6 months after stopping.

Women who are nursing

It isn’t known if boceprevir passes through breast milk. If it does, it may cause serious effects in a breastfeeding child.

You and your doctor need to decide if you’ll take boceprevir or breastfeed.

For Seniors

As you age, your organs, such as your liver and kidneys, don’t work as well as they once did. This may cause your body to respond differently to boceprevir.

For Children

It isn’t known if boceprevir is safe and effective in children younger than 18 years old.

Keep boceprevir and all other medications out of the reach of children.

When to call the doctor

Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner become pregnant during treatment with boceprevir with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin or within 6 months of stopping. Ribavirin may cause birth defects or death of an unborn baby.

Allergies

Boceprevir used in combination with ribavirin and peginterferon alfa may cause a serious allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • itching
  • hives
  • swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat
  • trouble breathing or swallowing

If you experience any of these symptoms, get emergency medical help right away.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take boceprevir (Dosage)

Oral capsule

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Chronic hepatitis C virus infection
Form: Oral capsule
Strength: 200 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • Boceprevir is packaged in daily-use bottles (28 bottles). Each bottle will have your entire day’s worth of medicine (12 capsules in each bottle).
  • The recommended dose of boceprevir is 800 mg (four 200-mg capsules) taken three times per day. Each dose should be spaced apart by 7–9 hours and taken with food (a meal or a snack).
  • Take boceprevir in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin.

Treatment as part of combination therapy with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin:

  • Your treatment starts with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin for 4 weeks (treatment weeks 1–4).
  • After 4 weeks, you’ll add boceprevir at a dose of 800 mg (four 200-mg capsules) taken three times per day.
  • Your doctor will do blood tests to check the virus levels in your body at weeks 8, 12, and 24.
  • Based on these virus levels, your doctor will decide how long to continue treatment with these drugs.

If you have never been treated for HCV infection:

  • If virus levels are not detected at weeks 8 and 24, you’ll complete the treatment with all 3 medications through week 28.
  • If virus levels are detected at week 8, but not detected at week 24, you’ll continue treatment through week 36. Then you’ll stop taking boceprevir and finish treatment with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin through week 48.

If you were treated for HCV infection in the past but had re-infection, or didn’t fully respond to that treatment:

  • If virus levels are not detected at weeks 8 and 24, you’ll complete the treatment with all 3 medications through week 36.
  • If virus levels are detected at week 8 but not at week 24, you’ll continue the treatment through week 36. Then you’ll stop taking boceprevir and finish treatment with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin through week 48.

If you were treated for HCV infection in the past but had no response to previous therapy:

  • If virus levels are not detected at week 24, you’ll complete treatment with all 3 medications through week 48.

Your doctor will do blood tests to check the virus levels in your body and may stop treatment if your virus level is:

  • greater than or equal to 1,000 IU/mL at week 8
  • greater than or equal to 100 IU/mL at week 12
  • detectable at treatment week 24
Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Senior Dosage (ages 65 years and older)

As you age, your organs, such as your liver and kidneys, don’t work as well as they once did. This may cause your body to respond differently to boceprevir and you may receive an adjusted dose.

Special Considerations

Liver cirrhosis: If you have liver cirrhosis:

  • You’ll start with 4 weeks of peginterferon alfa and ribavirin. After 4 weeks, you’ll add boceprevir at a dose of 800 mg (four 200-mg capsules) taken three times per day. Treatment will be completed at the end of 48 weeks.
  • Your doctor will do blood tests to decide if this treatment is right for you.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Boceprevir comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed by your doctor.

If You Don't Take It at All

If you don’t take this medication, the infection will continue to progress and cause more damage to your liver. This infection can be fatal if it’s not treated properly.

If You Don't Take It On Schedule

You may become resistant to this drug and it will no longer work for you. The infection will continue to progress and harm your liver.

If You Take Too Much

If you think you have taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

If you miss a dose and it’s less than 2 hours before the next dose, skip the missed dose. If it’s 2 or more hours before the next dose, take the missed dose right away with food. You can take the next dose after that at your normal time and continue your normal dosing schedule.

Never double doses to try to catch up. If you’re not sure what to do, call your doctor.

How to Tell If the Drug Is Working

Your doctor will do blood tests to check for the amount of virus in your body. If boceprevir with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin is working, the amount of virus in your body should decrease. These blood tests may be done before you start treatment, at weeks 4, 8, 12, and 24, and at other times as needed.

Boceprevir is a short-term drug treatment.

Important Considerations for Taking Boceprevir
with food Take boceprevir with a meal or snack
timing Take this drug at the right times for best effects
 Don"t crush Don’t cut or crush this medication
storage Store boceprevir in the refrigerator See Details
Refillable Prescription is refillable
Travel Travel See Details
Clinical Monitoring Clinical Monitoring See Details
Not Stocked Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead
Prior authorization Insurance See Details

Store boceprevir in the refrigerator

Keep it in temperatures from 36--46°F (2.2—7.8°C). If you can’t refrigerate it, you can also store it at room temperature up to 77°F (25°C) for up to 3 months. Don’t freeze boceprevir.

Keep boceprevir in a tightly closed container away from heat.

Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you or in in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to identify the medication. Keep the prescription-labeled box with you when traveling.
  • Don’t leave this medicine in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.
  • Be sure to take enough medication with you when you travel. It may be difficult to get more of it if you run out.

Clinical Monitoring

Your doctor may do the following tests during treatment:

  • blood tests to check your red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and the amount of the hepatitis C virus in your body
  • liver function tests
  • pregnancy tests. You or your partner should not become pregnant if either of you are taking this drug with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin and for 6 months after stopping.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for boceprevir.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does boceprevir Cost?

Oral capsule
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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on June 6, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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