lenacapavir 309 mg/mL subcutaneous solution

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Medication name

Generic name:
Lenacapavir - injection

Brand name(s)
Sunlenca

Uses

Lenacapavir is used with other HIV medications to help control HIV infection. It helps to decrease the amount of HIV in your body so your immune system can work better. This lowers your chance of getting HIV complications (such as new infections, cancer) and improves your quality of life. Lenacapavir belongs to a class of drugs known as capsid inhibitors. It blocks the virus from growing and infecting more cells.

Lenacapavir is not a cure for HIV infection. To decrease your risk of spreading HIV disease to others, continue to take all HIV medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during sexual activity as directed by your doctor. Do not share personal items (such as needles/syringes, toothbrushes, and razors) that may have contacted blood or other body fluids. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

How to use

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start using lenacapavir and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

This medication is given by injection under the skin as directed by your doctor, usually once every 6 months. It is given by injection into the stomach/abdomen area by a health care professional. At the beginning of treatment, you will also be using the tablet form of the medication for 2 or 3 doses. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully on when to take the tablet form of lenacapavir and when to get your injection of lenacapavir.

It is very important to keep using this medication (and other HIV medications) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip any doses.

For the best effect, use this medication at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, mark your calendar to keep track of when to get the next dose.

Do not stop using this drug (or other HIV medicines) even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Doing so may cause the amount of virus to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant).

Side effects

Injection site pain, swelling, redness, itching, bruising, or a hardened mass or lump may occur. Nausea may also occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

As your immune system gets stronger, it can begin to fight off infections you already had, possibly causing disease symptoms to come back. You could also have symptoms if your immune system becomes overactive. This reaction may happen at any time (soon after starting HIV treatment or many months later). Get medical help right away if you have any serious symptoms, including:

  • unexplained weight loss
  • severe tiredness
  • muscle aches/weakness that doesn't go away
  • headaches that are severe or don't go away
  • joint pain
  • numbness/tingling of the hands/feet/arms/legs
  • vision changes
  • signs of infection (such as fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, trouble breathing, cough, non-healing skin sores)
  • signs of an overactive thyroid (such as irritability, nervousness, heat intolerance, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, bulging eyes, unusual growth in the neck/thyroid known as a goiter)
  • signs of a certain nerve problem known as Guillain-Barre syndrome (such as unsteadiness, loss of coordination, trouble swallowing/speaking/chewing, trouble moving your eyes)
  • signs of liver disease (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine)

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before using lenacapavir, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Treatment can lower the risk of passing HIV infection to your baby, and lenacapavir may be part of that treatment. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because breast milk may transmit HIV, consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Drug interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Other medications can affect the removal of lenacapavir from your body, which may affect how lenacapavir works. Examples include certain other HIV drugs (such as atazanavir/cobicistat, atazanavir/ritonavir, efavirenz, nevirapine, tipranavir/ritonavir), rifamycins (such as rifampin, rifabutin), certain drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin), St. John's wort, among others.

This medication can slow down the removal of other medications from your body (for up to 9 months after the last dose), which may affect how they work. Examples of affected drugs include asunaprevir, elacestrant, ergot drugs (such as dihydroergotamine, ergotamine), flibanserin, lomitapide, lonafarnib, rivaroxaban, among others.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Lab and/or medical tests (such as viral load, T-cell counts) should be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed dose

It is important to get each dose of this medication as scheduled. If you miss a dose, ask your doctor or pharmacist right away for a new dosing schedule.

Storage

Not applicable. This product is given in a hospital or clinic or doctor's office and will not be stored at home.

Important note

HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Information last revised October 2023.

Selected from NATIONAL DRUG DATA FILE (NDDF) data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc., 2019. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider.

The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your health care professional. You should consult your health care professional before taking any drug, changing your diet, or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.