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Generic name: lenacapavir
Dosage form: tablets and injection
Drug class: Miscellaneous antivirals

Medically reviewed by Judith Stewart, BPharm. Last updated on Jan 17, 2023.

What is Sunlenca?

Sunlenca is a prescription medicine that is used with other human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) medicines to treat HIV-1 infection in adults. HIV-1 is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

Sunlenca belongs to a new class of drugs called capsid inhibitors. Capsid inhibitors work by interfering with HIV capsid, a protein shell that protects the genetic material of the HIV virus and the enzymes needed for replication.

Sunlenca is designed to inhibit HIV-1 at multiple stages of its lifecycle and may work against HIV strains that are resistant to other HIV drugs.

Sunlenca is currently the only HIV-1 treatment option to be administered twice-yearly.

What is Sunlenca used to treat?

Sunlenca is used to HIV-1 infection in heavily treatment-experienced (HTE) adults with multi-drug resistant (MDR) HIV-1 infection. This means people who have received HIV-1 medicines in the past, and who have HIV-1 virus that is resistant to many HIV-1 medicines, and whose current HIV-1 medicines are failing.

HIV-1 medicines may be considered to be failing when your HIV-1 medicines are not working or no longer work, or you are not able to tolerate the side effects, or there are safety reasons why you cannot take them.

It is not known if this medicine is safe and effective in children.

Who should not receive or take Sunlenca?

Do not receive or take this medicine if you also take certain other medicines called strong CYP3A inducers. Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure.

Before receiving or taking Sunlenca

Before receiving or taking Sunlenca, tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, including if you:

What other drugs will affect Sunlenca?

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements, including St. John’s wort.

Some medicines may interact with Sunlenca. Keep a list of your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

Do not receive or take Sunlenca if you also take certain other medicines called strong CYP3A inducers.

Examples of strong CYP3A inducers include:

How should I receive and take Sunlenca?

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for HIV-1 Infection

Initiation with one of two options followed by once every 6-months maintenance dosing.

Initiation Option 1 
Day 1 927 mg by subcutaneous injection (2 x 1.5 mL injections)
600 mg orally (2 x 300 mg tablets)
Day 2 600 mg orally (2 x 300 mg tablets)
Initiation Option 2
Day 1 600 mg orally (2 x 300 mg tablets)
Day 2 600 mg orally (2 x 300 mg tablets)
Day 8 300 mg orally (1 x 300 mg tablet)
Day 15 927 mg by subcutaneous injection (2 x 1.5 mL injections) 
927 mg by subcutaneous injection (2 x 1.5 mL injections) every 6 months (26 weeks) from the date of the last injection +/-2 weeks.

Comment: Missed dose - If more than 28 weeks since last injection and clinically appropriate to continue Sunlenca, restart initiation from Day 1, using either Option 1 or Option 2.

Use: in combination with other antiretroviral(s) for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in heavily treatment-experienced adults with multidrug resistant HIV-1 infection failing their current antiretroviral regimen due to resistance, intolerance, or safety considerations

Sunlenca side effects

Sunlenca may cause serious side effects, including:

The most common Sunlenca side effects are nausea and injection site reactions.

These are not all of the possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How should I store Sunlenca tablets?

General information about the safe and effective use of Sunlenca.

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use this medicine for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give it to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them. You can ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for information that is written for health professionals.

What are the ingredients in Sunlenca?

Active ingredient: lenacapavir
Inactive ingredients:
Sunlenca tablets: copovidone, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, mannitol, microcrystalline cellulose, and poloxamer 407.
The tablets are film-coated with a coating material containing iron oxide black, iron oxide red, iron oxide yellow, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, and titanium dioxide.
Sunlenca injection: polyethylene glycol 300 and water for injection.

Further information

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