Viekira Pak (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir tablets; dasabuvir tablets)
Viekira Pak is a prescription medication used to treat adult patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV). Viekira Pak contains a combination tablet of the antiviral medications ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir that is packaged with dasabuvir tablets. Viekira Pak is approved for use in those with HCV genotype 1b or genotype 1a. For those with genotype 1a, Viekira Pak is used in combination with ribavirin. People with a type of cirrhosis called “compensated” cirrhosis can also take Viekira Pak. This is a type of cirrhosis that has not progressed to an advanced stage called “decompensated” cirrhosis. Viekira Pak is not recommended for people with decompensated cirrhosis, which means that their livers have serious damage.1,2 There are two tablets in Viekira Pak. The pink-colored tablet contains the active ingredients of ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir. The other, beige-colored tablet in Viekira Pak contains the active ingredient of dasabuvir.
In July 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug, Viekira XR. Viekira XR is a modified version of Viekira Pak. Click here to read more about Viekira XR.
How does Viekira Pak work?
Viekira Pak contains three antiviral drugs – ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and dasabuvir – that each work on blocking different substances that are essential for HCV to replicate. It also contains ritonavir, which does not work on HCV but boosts the amount and effectiveness of paritaprevir in the blood.1
What are the possible side effects of Viekira Pak?
The most common side effects experienced by people taking Viekira Pak along with ribavirin in clinical trials were fatigue, nausea, itchiness or other skin reaction, difficulty sleeping (insomnia) and weakness or lack of energy. The most common side effects experienced by people taking Viekira Pak without ribavirin were nausea, itchiness, or difficulty sleeping.1
Viekira Pak has a black box warning, the strictest warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of its potential to cause serious side effects, namely the reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in people who carry the virus from a previous infection. This reactivation of HBV can result in liver failure and may lead to death.1
Viekira Pak may cause severe liver problems, particularly in people with advanced cirrhosis. This may lead to the need for a liver transplant or death. In addition, Viekira Pak can cause increases in the enzyme ALT (alanine aminotransferase), which measures liver function. In clinical trials, increases in ALT were significantly more common in women who were using contraceptives with ethinyl estradiol, like oral contraceptives, contraceptive patches, or contraceptive vaginal rings.1
Things to know about Viekira Pak
Viekira Pak should not be used in people who have moderate to severe liver impairment. Prior to taking Viekira Pak, you should be tested for decompensated cirrhosis.1
People who have a known hypersensitivity to ritonavir, like toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) or Stevens-Johnson syndrome, should not use Viekira Pak.1,2
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking, as well as any vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you take, as some of these may interact with Viekira Pak. Some medications cannot be taken at the same time as Viekira Pak.1
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
It is not known if Viekira Pak will harm your unborn baby. Be sure to talk to your doctor about plans for pregnancy and birth control before starting Viekira Pak. For both men and women who take Viekria Pak with ribavrian, during treatment and for the period of 6 months after treatment, you should use proper birth control measures to prevent pregnancy.1
Additionally, it is not known if Viekira Pak passes into breast milk and poses a risk to your infant. Women who are breastfeeding or planning on breastfeeding should talk to their doctor about the risks to their child.1
Before taking Viekira Pak, you should be tested for hepatitis B virus (HBV). Viekira Pak can reactivate an infection of HBV, which could lead to liver failure or death. Those who have had a prior infection of HBV should be closely monitored while taking Viekira Pak.1
Viekira Pak is taken by mouth. The recommended dose is two of the pink tablets (combination of ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir) once each morning and the beige tablet (dasabuvir) twice daily, morning and evening. Viekira Pak should be taken along with a meal. The treatment duration is based on the genotype of HCV, but is usually 12 or 24 weeks.1,2
- Viekira Pak prescribing information. Accessed online on 8/18/17 at http://www.rxabbvie.com/pdf/viekirapak_pi.pdf.
- Medscape. Accessed online on 8/18/17 at http://reference.medscape.com/drug/viekira-pak-viekira-xr-ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir-dasabuvir-999977.