Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Anemia: Boceprevir may cause low levels of red blood cells, a condition called anemia. If you experience symptoms of anemia, such as dizziness, shortness of breath, feeling unusually tired, or pale skin, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Your doctor will do blood tests regularly to monitor the number of specific types of blood cells, including red blood cells, in your blood.
Birth control: Treatment that includes boceprevir can cause severe birth defects to an unborn child. Both partners should use a reliable form of birth control while taking this medication and for 6 months afterwards (the time it takes for ribavirin to be cleared from the body). For women, your doctor will not give you boceprevir until you have had a negative pregnancy test. Your doctor should have you continue to do monthly pregnancy tests to ensure that you do not become pregnant while using this medication.
Methods of birth control that use hormones, such as a birth control pill, patch, or injection, may not be fully reliable as boceprevir interacts with many medications and may change the way that your body uses the hormones. At least 2 forms of non-hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm) must be used while you are taking this medication.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Boceprevir may cause dizziness, fatigue, or blurred vision. Do not drive, operate machinery, or perform other hazardous tasks until you have determined how this medication affects you.
Infection: Boceprevir appears to reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). If possible, avoid contact with people with contagious infections. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice signs of an infection, such as fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness. Your doctor will do blood tests regularly to monitor the number of specific types of blood cells in your blood.
Infection with HIV or hepatitis B: The safety and effectiveness of using boceprevir have not been established for people who also have hepatitis B or HIV.
Organ transplantation: The safety and effectiveness of boceprevir treatment have not been established for patients with liver or other organ transplants. Boceprevir may interact with medications used to prevent rejection of the transplanted organ. If you have had an organ transplant, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Pregnancy: Boceprevir has not been studied for use by pregnant women and it must be taken with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin. Ribavirin has been shown to cause serious problems in the developing fetus. As a result, boceprevir (plus peginterferon alfa-2b and ribavirin) should not be used by pregnant women or by men whose partners are pregnant. Both partners should use a reliable form of birth control while taking this medication and for 6 months afterwards. Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while using this medication.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if boceprevir passes into breast milk. Because side effects of this medication could be harmful to the baby, women should not breast-feed while using this medication.
Children and adolescents: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children and adolescents under 18 years of age.