Cabotegravir - oral

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Cabotegravir is used together with other medicine (rilpivirine) to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection which can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

This medicine is not a cure for HIV infection. It only helps to keep the virus in check and can help improve the quality of life. This medicine does not prevent the spread of HIV to other people.
How do I take this medicine?
Take Cabotegravir exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.

You may take this medicine with or without food. However, when if it is to be taken at the same time as rilpivirine, both tablets should be taken with a meal. Try to take it at the same time each day.

Your doctor will decide whether to start the treatment with Cabotegravir tablets or start the treatment directly with a Cabotegravir injection. Once decided, your doctor will advise you to take this medicine with rilpivirine tablet for one month. This is called the oral lead-in period. It will allow your doctor to assess how well you tolerate these medicines.

Take Cabotegravir at regular intervals. Do not skip any doses. You must complete the entire course of this medicine. If you don't, the infection will not be properly controlled.
What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.

If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
When should I not use this medicine?
Do not take Cabotegravir if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine or any of its ingredients.

Do not take this medicine if you are breastfeeding.

Do not take Cabotegravir with medicines used to treat epilepsy (fits or seizures) or an infection known as tuberculosis. Please see the section "Can I take this with other medicines?" below for more information.
What should I take note of while taking this medicine?
Inform your doctor if you have liver disease or hepatitis B infection (contagious liver infection caused by a virus that is spread through contact with infected blood or other body fluids).

Let your doctor know if you are pregnant.

Inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding. It is best that you do not breastfeed as HIV passes into the breast milk. Avoid breastfeeding in order to reduce the risk of passing HIV to your baby. It is recommended to give your baby commercial infant formula provided that you have access to clean water and facilities.

This medicine does not reduce your risk of passing HIV infection to others through sexual contact or contamination with infected blood. Ensure that you use proper precautions to avoid spreading HIV infection to others.

Both this medicine and HIV may weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to infections. Avoid crowded places or those who are sick to minimise the risk of catching an infection. While undergoing treatment, you may develop other infections or experience other health problems. Always keep your doctor updated on your condition and go for your appointed check-ups.

Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?

Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
  • Routine tests (e.g. liver function) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
  • Regular monitoring signs of skin reactions, liver toxicity, or changes in mood may also be needed.
What side effects could I experience?
Cabotegravir may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or weakness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.

Other side effects include any of the following: headache, nausea, stomach pain or discomfort, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach wind, decreased appetite, fever, muscle pain, back pain, difficulty sleeping, and rash.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • signs of allergic reactions e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
  • signs of liver problems e.g. yellowing of the skin or eyes, abdominal pain, dark coloured urine, tiredness, swelling in the legs and ankles
  • unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, having thoughts of self-harm)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I take this with other medicines?
Do not take Cabotegravir with the following medicines:
  • medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine
  • medicines to treat TB (an infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin, rifapentine
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking rifabutin (medicine to treat TB).

This medicine should not be taken with antacids as antacids could reduce the effectiveness of Cabotegravir. If you must take antacids, take between meals at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after you have taken this medicine.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements, and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on cabotegravir - oral and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2024 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by
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