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Generic Name:

sofosbuvir, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Sovaldi
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for sofosbuvir

Oral tablet
1

Sofosbuvir is an oral drug used to treat the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

2

This drug must be used with other drugs to treat your HCV infection. Sofosbuvir should be taken with ribavirin or with both peginterferon alfa and ribavirin.

3

The recommended dose of sofosbuvir is one 400-mg tablet taken once per day with or without food.

4

Common side effects include tiredness, headache, and nausea.

5

Take sofosbuvir as prescribed by your doctor. If you don’t, you may become resistant to this drug. This means that it will no longer work for you.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Pregnancy warning

This drug, in combination with ribavirin or peginterferon alfa and ribavirin, may cause birth defects or death of a fetus.

  • Don’t take this drug combination if you’re pregnant. Don’t use it if you or your female partner plans to become pregnant. Ribavirin can cause birth defects or death of an unborn baby. This can happen if either you or your partner uses ribavirin during conception, or if you or your partner takes the drug during pregnancy. Don’t become pregnant while taking ribavirin and for 6 months after treatment ends.
  • Men and women must use two effective forms of birth control during and for 6 months after treatment with these drugs. Talk to your doctor about what forms of birth control you can use.
  • Women must have a negative pregnancy test before starting treatment, every month while being treated, and for 6 months after treatment ends.
  • If you or your female partner becomes pregnant during or within 6 months after treatment with this drug combination, tell your doctor right away. You should contact the Ribavirin Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-800-593-2214. The Ribavirin Pregnancy Registry collects information about what happens to mothers and their babies if the mother takes ribavirin while she is pregnant.

Amiodarone and heart risks

If you’re taking the drug amiodarone for your heart, let your doctor know before you start sofosbuvir. There is a risk for severe heart problems if you take a combination of amiodarone, sofosbuvir, and other direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs. This combination can slow down your heart rate to a low level and be fatal. Your risk may be higher if you also take beta blockers or if you have liver disease. Call your doctor right away if you have these symptoms:

  • fainting or feeling like you may faint
  • lightheadedness
  • weakness
  • tiredness
  • trouble breathing
  • chest pain
  • confusion
  • trouble with your memory

This drug combination is not recommended. However, if you have to take sofosbuvir and DAA medications while taking amiodarone, your doctor will watch your heart rate closely when you first start treatment. You may need to stay in the hospital for the first 48 hours of treatment for monitoring. Afterwards, you or your doctor may check your heart rate every day for at least 2 weeks.

Risk of drug interactions

Don’t use this drug with certain over-the-counter medicines, herbs, or prescription drugs, such as St. John’s wort and rifampin. These medications can decrease the amount of this drug in your body, which will reduce its effectiveness.

What is sofosbuvir?

This drug is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

This drug is available in its generic form. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Don’t take sofosbuvir alone. Take it as a part of a combination therapy with ribavirin or both peginterferon alfa and ribavirin.

Why it's used

This drug is used to treat the hepatitis C virus infection. This drug is effective for people with HCV genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 4.

More Details

How it works

This drug is an antiviral drug that inhibits enzymes and prevents the hepatitis C virus from making copies of itself. This stops the virus from spreading and may cure your infection.

Why it's used

This drug is used to treat the hepatitis C virus infection. This drug is effective for people with HCV genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 4. This includes people who have liver cancer and are waiting for a liver transplant and those who also have human immunodeficiency virus infection.

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SECTION 2 of 5

sofosbuvir Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

  • The most common side effects that occur with sofosbuvir when used in combination with ribavirin include:

    • tiredness
    • headache
  • The most common side effects that occur with sofosbuvir when used in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin include:

    • tiredness
    • headache
    • nausea
    • trouble sleeping
    • low red blood cell count

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.

  • blood effects. This drug, especially when used in combination with peginterferon alfa, can lower your blood cell counts. If your blood cell counts become very low, you may get infections, anemia, or have bleeding problems.

    • low white blood cells. Symptoms may include signs of infection, such as:
      • fever
      • chills
      • body aches
      • coughing up yellow-green or brownish mucus
    • low red blood cells. Symptoms may include signs of anemia:
      • extreme tiredness
      • shortness of breath
      • a very fast heart rate
    • low platelets. Symptoms may include signs of bleeding:
      • bruising easily
      • bleeding that won’t stop
      • bleeding in your urine or stools
  • depression. Symptoms may include:

    • thoughts of suicide
    • trying to harm yourself
    • sleeping too much or too little
    • eating too much or too little
    • difficulty concentrating
  • severe slowing of your heart rate. The combination of sofosbuvir, amiodarone, and direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs can slow down your heart rate to a very low level. This can be fatal. Symptoms may include:

    • fainting or feeling like you may faint
    • lightheadedness
    • a general feeling of weakness
    • tiredness
    • trouble breathing
    • chest pain
    • confusion
    • trouble with your memory
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug does not cause drowsiness.

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

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

sofosbuvir May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Sofosbuvir 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

Don’t drink alcohol if you have the hepatitis C virus infection. It may cause more damage to your liver.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Heart medication
  • amiodarone

Taking amiodarone, sofosbuvir, and certain direct-acting antiviral (DAA) can slow down your heart rate to a very low level. This can be fatal. This drug combination is not recommended. However, if you have to take it, your doctor will watch you closely.

Anti-seizure medications
  • carbamazepine
  • phenytoin
  • phenobarbital
  • oxcarbazepine

Don’t use these drugs with sofosbuvir. They may decrease the amount of sofosbuvir in your body. This means that sofosbuvir may not work as well.

Antibiotics
  • rifabutin
  • rifampin
  • rifapentine

Don’t use these drugs with sofosbuvir. They may decrease the amount of sofosbuvir in your body. This means that sofosbuvir may not work as well.

Herbal supplements
  • St. John’s wort

Don’t take this supplement with sofosbuvir. It may decrease the amount of sofosbuvir in your body. This means that sofosbuvir may not work as well.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drugs
  • tipranavir
  • ritonavir

Don’t use these drugs with sofosbuvir. They may decrease the amount of sofosbuvir in your body. This means that sofosbuvir may not work as well.

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.
Drug warnings
People with depression
People with depression or other mental health issues

This drug can cause severe depression, especially if you have a history of mental health problems. It can also lead to thoughts of suicide or make you want to harm yourself. Let your doctor know if you have a history of mental health issues before you start this drug.

People with severe kidney
People with severe kidney problems or who are on dialysis

Let your doctor know if you have severe kidney problems or are on dialysis. This drug is removed from your body by your kidneys. If you have kidney problems, your body might not be able to filter this drug as quickly. This could lead to toxic levels and side effects. There isn’t enough information on the safety and effectiveness of this drug in people with severe kidney problems to know if it will work or be safe for you.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

This drug is a category X pregnancy drug when used with ribavirin or with both peginterferon alfa and ribavirin. Category X drugs should never be used during pregnancy.

This drug taken in combination with ribavirin or peginterferon alfa and ribavirin may cause birth defects or death of an unborn baby.

  • Don’t take this drug combination if you’re pregnant. Don’t use it if you or your female partner plans to become pregnant. Ribavirin can cause birth defects or death of an unborn baby. This can happen if either you or your partner uses ribavirin during conception, or if you or your partner takes the drug during pregnancy. Don’t become pregnant while taking ribavirin and for 6 months after treatment ends.
  • Men and women must use two effective forms of birth control during and for 6 months after treatment with these drugs. Talk to your doctor about birth control.
  • Women must have a negative pregnancy test before starting treatment, every month while being treated, and for 6 months after treatment ends.
  • If you or your female partner becomes pregnant during or within 6 months after treatment with this drug combination, tell your doctor right away. You or your healthcare provider should contact the Ribavirin Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-800-593-2214. The Ribavirin Pregnancy Registry collects information about what happens to mothers and their babies if the mother takes ribavirin while she’s pregnant.
breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

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

You and your healthcare provider may need to decide if you’ll take this drug or breastfeed.

Children
For children

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

Keep this drug and all medicines out of the reach of children.

When to call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Talk to your doctor before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medications may affect how this drug works.

Allergies
Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

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

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 sofosbuvir (Dosage)

Oral tablet

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 tablet
Strength: 400 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • The recommended dose of sofosbuvir is one 400-mg tablet taken by mouth once a day. You may take it with or without food.
  • Don’t use sofosbuvir alone. Take it with other drugs that treat the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. You’ll take it with ribavirin or with both peginterferon alfa and ribavirin.
  • Your duration of treatment depends on the type of HCV you have:
    • People with genotype 1 or 4 HCV:
      • Sofosbuvir and peginterferon alfa and ribavirin for 12 weeks
    • People with genotype 2 HCV:
      • Sofosbuvir and ribavirin for 12 weeks
    • People with genotype 3 HCV:
      • Sofosbuvir and ribavirin for 24 weeks
    • People with liver cancer who are waiting for a liver transplant:
      • Sofosbuvir and ribavirin for up to 48 weeks or until the time of liver transplant, whichever occurs first
Child Dosage (ages 0–17 years)

A safe and effective dose hasn’t been established for people younger than 18 years old.

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
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

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 may 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 cause more damage to your liver. Take your medication every day as directed.

If you take too much

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

What to do if you miss a dose

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember the same day. Do not take more than one dose per day. Take your next dose of this drug at your regular time the next day.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your doctor will do blood tests to check the amount of virus in your body. If this drug is working, the amount of virus in your body should decrease. These blood tests may be done before, during, and after treatment with this drug.

This drug is a short-term drug treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug
with food
You may take this medication with or without food
Don’t cut or crush
Don’t cut or crush this medication
Storage
Store this drug at room temperature
See Details
Refillable
Prescription is refillable
Travel
Travel
See Details
Clinical Monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
Not Usually Stocked
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead
Prior authorization
Insurance
See Details

Store this drug at room temperature

Keep it below 86°F (30°C). Don’t freeze this drug.

Keep it away from high temperatures.

Keep it in its original container.

Don’t use it if the seal over the bottle opening is broken or missing.

Keep drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you or 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 clearly identify the medication. Keep the original prescription label with you when traveling.
  • Don’t leave this medication in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.
  • Be sure that you have enough medication before you leave on your trip. It may be difficult to fill this prescription since not every pharmacy has it in stock.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may check the following during your treatment with this drug:

  • heart rate. If you’re taking amiodarone for your heart, and this drug with certain direct-acting antiviral (DAA) medications, your doctor may watch you closely for signs of a very slow heart rate. They will do this for at least the first two weeks of treatment.
  • kidney and liver function tests. Your doctor will do blood tests to check how well your kidneys and liver are working. This is done to make sure that this drug is still safe for you.
  • blood tests. Your doctor will do blood tests to check the amount of the hepatitis C virus in your body. If this drug is working, the amount of virus in your body should decrease. These blood tests may be done before, during, and after treatment with this drug to check if the virus is still causing infection or inflammation.
  • pregnancy. This drug, in combination with ribavirin or peginterferon alfa and ribavirin may cause birth defects or death of a fetus. You or your partner shouldn’t become pregnant during treatment with these drugs. Women will need to take a pregnancy test before starting treatment, every month while being treated, and for 6 months after treatment ends.

Insurance

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

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 sofosbuvir Cost?

Oral tablet

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for sofosbuvir on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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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 11, 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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