Victrelis (boceprevir) and Ritonavir-Boosted Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Protease Inhibitor Drugs: Drug Safety Communication - Drug Interactions

April 26, 2012

Audience: Infectious Disease, Pharmacy

[UPDATED 04/26/2012]

FDA notified healthcare professionals that the Victrelis drug label has been revised to state that co-administration of Victrelis (boceprevir), a hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor, along with certain ritonavir-boosted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease inhibitors, is not recommended. The findings of a drug-drug interaction study and clinical trial showed that co-administration increased of the possibility of reducing the effectiveness of the medicines, permitting the amount of HCV or HIV virus in the blood to increase. Ritonavir-boosted HIV protease inhibitors include ritonavir-boosted Reyataz (atazanavir), ritonavir-boosted Prezista (darunavir), and Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir).

 

[Posted 02/09/2012]

ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients that drug interactions between the hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor Victrelis (boceprevir) and certain ritonavir-boosted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease inhibitors (atazanavir, lopinavir, darunavir) can potentially reduce the effectiveness of these medicines when they are used together.

A drug interaction study showed that taking boceprevir (Victrelis) with ritonavir (Norvir) in combination with atazanavir (Reyataz) or darunavir (Prezista), or with Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) reduced the blood levels of the HIV medicines and boceprevir in the body (see Data Summary below). FDA will be updating the Victrelis drug label to include information about these drug interactions.

BACKGROUND: Victrelis is a hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor used with the medicines peginterferon alfa and ribavirin to treat chronic (long-lasting) hepatitis C infection in adults. HIV protease inhibitors are a class of anti-viral drugs used to treat HIV infection. Ritonavir is an HIV protease inhibitor used to “boost” other HIV protease inhibitors, increasing their levels in the blood and making them more effective.

RECOMMENDATION: Patients should not stop taking any of their medicines without talking to their healthcare professional. Patients should contact their healthcare professional if they have any questions or concerns.

Healthcare professionals who have started patients infected with both chronic HCV and HIV on Victrelis and antiretroviral therapy containing a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor should closely monitor patients for HCV treatment response and for potential HCV and HIV virologic rebound. 

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

 

[04/26/2012 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]

[04/20/2012 - Prescribing Information - Merck]

[02/09/2012 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]

[02/06/2012 - Dear Healthcare Professional Letter - Merck]

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