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Sofosbuvir

Generic Name: sofosbuvir (soe FOS bue vir)
Brand Name: Sovaldi

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on May 7, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is sofosbuvir?

Sofosbuvir is an antiviral medicine that is used to treat chronic hepatitis C in adults and children who are at least 12 years old or who weigh at least 77 pounds (35 kilograms).

Sofosbuvir must be given in combination with other antiviral medications (usually ribavirin with or without peginterferon alfa). Sofosbuvir should not be used alone.

Sofosbuvir treats specific genotypes of hepatitis C, and only in certain people. Use only the medications prescribed for you. Do not share your medicine with other people.

Sofosbuvir is sometimes used in people who also have HIV, or people who have liver cancer and are going to have a liver transplant. Sofosbuvir is not a treatment for HIV or AIDS.

Sofosbuvir may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

If you've ever had hepatitis B, it may become active or get worse after you stop using sofosbuvir. You may need frequent liver function tests for several months.

Sofosbuvir is used in combination with other medication. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication in your combination therapy. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use sofosbuvir if you are allergic to it. When taking sofosbuvir with other antiviral medicines: There may be other reasons you should not take this combination treatment. Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • hepatitis B;

  • liver problems other than hepatitis C;

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);

  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus); or

  • if you have recently used a heart rhythm medicine called amiodarone (Cordarone, Nexterone, Pacerone).

Sofosbuvir is used in combination with ribavirin. Both men and women using ribavirin should use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy. Ribavirin can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects if the mother or father is using sofosbuvir.

While taking sofosbuvir with ribavirin, use at least 2 effective forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy, whether you are a man or a woman. Ribavirin use by either parent may cause birth defects.

Keep using 2 forms of birth control for at least 6 months after your last dose of ribavirin. Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is using ribavirin.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How should I take sofosbuvir?

Sofosbuvir must be given in combination with other antiviral medications and it should not be used alone.

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

You may take sofosbuvir with or without food.

You will need frequent blood tests to check your liver function.

If you've ever had hepatitis B, this virus may become active or get worse in the months after you stop using sofosbuvir. You may need frequent liver function tests while using this medicine and for several months after your last dose.

Use all medications as directed and read all medication guides you receive. Do not change your dose or dosing schedule without your doctor's advice. Every person with chronic hepatitis C should remain under the care of a doctor.

You should not stop using sofosbuvir suddenly. Stopping suddenly could make your hepatitis C harder to treat with antiviral medicine.

Store this medicine in the original container at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking sofosbuvir?

Using sofosbuvir will not prevent your disease from spreading. Do not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent hepatitis C transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

Sofosbuvir side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have new or worsening symptoms such as:

  • right-sided upper stomach pain, vomiting, loss of appetite;

  • dark urine, clay-colored stools; or

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

If you take sofosbuvir and you also take a heart rhythm medicine called amiodarone: This combination of medicines can cause dangerous side effects on your heart. Get medical help right away if you take these medicines and you have:

  • very slow heartbeats, chest pain, shortness of breath;

  • confusion, memory problems; or

  • weakness, extreme tiredness, light-headed feeling (like you might pass out).

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect sofosbuvir?

When you start or stop taking sofosbuvir, your doctor may need to adjust the doses of any other medicines you take on a regular basis.

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Other drugs may affect sofosbuvir, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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