Frequently asked questions about VIEKIRA PAK

What should I do if I miss an appointment with the Hep C doctor or nurse?

If you miss an appointment, call to let the clinic staff know what has happened, and to book another one as soon as you can.

What blood tests will I need to have during treatment?

You may need to have certain blood tests, including haemoglobin (Hb) or full blood count (FBC) tests. Your Hep C doctor or nurse will tell you how often these should be done and which tests you need.

What happens if I notice a side effect?

Contact your Hep C doctor or nurse (who prescribed VIEKIRA PAK or VIEKIRA PAK- RBV) as soon as possible. They can give you advice on what to do. If it is a medical emergency, go to your nearest hospital and remember to take your medicine and wallet dose card with you.

What should I do if I take too much medicine?

If you take more than your prescribed dose, contact your Hep C doctor or nurse immediately or go to your nearest hospital. Take your medicine with you so you can show what you have taken.

What should I do if I am vomiting?

If you vomit, keep taking your medicine at the regular times, but tell the Hep C doctor or nurse who prescribed VIEKIRA PAK or VIEKIRA PAK-RBV as soon as possible. If you feel concerned, go to the emergency department of your nearest hospital and take your medicine and dose card with you.

What should I do with my VIEKIRA PAK or VIEKIRA PAK-RBV if I have to go to hospital?

If you have to go to hospital, you must take your medicine and dosage card with you.

Ask the doctors at the hospital to contact your Hep C doctor to discuss your Hep C treatment.

What should I do if a different doctor wants me to stop the treatment with VIEKIRA PAK or VIEKIRA PAK-RBV?

Explain that your Hep C doctor has prescribed VIEKIRA PAK (or VIEKIRA PAK-RBV) and given strict directions for you to take the medicine every morning and evening for 12 or 24 weeks. Ask the doctor to contact your Hep C doctor to discuss the situation.

Can I start, stop or change contraceptives while on VIEKIRA PAK?1

Some oral contraceptives should not be taken during treatment with VIEKIRA PAK. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking contraceptives that include ethinyloestradiol. Your doctor or nurse will ask you to stop or change to a different method of birth control (progestin-only or non-hormonal methods).

It is important not to get pregnant, or for your partner to become pregnant while you are taking VIEKIRA PAK. If you are trying to get pregnant, it is very important to first discuss this with your Hep C doctor or nurse. This applies both to women and to men who have partners of child-bearing age.

Note: This is even more important if you are taking VIEKIRA PAK-RBV. Please see the section on contraception and pregnancy.

Can I take VIEKIRA PAK if I am pregnant?1

VIEKIRA PAK is not recommended during pregancy; tell your Hep C doctor or nurse immediately if you become pregnant while taking VIEKIRA PAK.

Note: VIEKIRA-PAK RBV must NEVER be taken during pregnancy (see Section below on questions specific to VIEKIRA PAK-RBV).

Can I breastfeed while taking VIEKIRA PAK or VIEKIRA PAK-RBV?1,2

Do not take VIEKIRA PAK or VIEKIRA PAK-RBV if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known whether this medicine passes into the breast milk. Your doctor or nurse will discuss the risks and benefits of using this medicine if you are breastfeeding.

Can I start other medicines while on VIEKIRA PAK or VIEKIRA PAK-RBV?

Always talk to your Hep C doctor, nurse, or pharmacist before taking any other medicines or treatments, including natural and herbal remedies and recreational drugs. Some medicines and remedies can interfere with the way VIEKIRA PAK and VIEKIRA PAK-RBV work.

Can I share my VIEKIRA PAK or VIEKIRA PAK-RBV TREATMENT with other people with Hep C?

No. VIEKIRA PAK or VIEKIRA PAK-RBV has been prescribed for you because your Hep C doctor has decided that it could treat your specific type of Hep C. For the treatment to work most effectively, it’s very important that you take all of your tablets, which means not sharing any tablets and not missing any doses.

How will I know if the treatment is successful?

Your doctor or nurse will arrange a blood test for you 12 weeks after you have finished your treatment with VIEKIRA PAK or VIEKIRA PAK-RBV.  This blood test will show whether the Hep C virus has been cleared from your body.

What support will I have while on this treatment?

If you have any questions about your condition or your treatment, speak to your doctor, nurse or healthcare team.

What support can my friends, family of carers give me while I’m on treatment?

For some people, taking medicine regularly can be challenging. Friends and family can help you stay on track and take your medicine by:

  • helping to plan a schedule for taking medicine.
  • giving you prompts and reminders to take tablets on time.
  • giving moral support to attend doctor’s appointments and tests at the clinic.
  • writing down any questions or concerns to discuss with a doctor or nurse.
  • listening and offering encouragement and motivation.
  • assisting with everyday living activities
  • supporting lifestyle changes such as cooking healthy meals, regular appropriate exercise, avoiding risk factors such as alcohol.

It’s important for those who support people with Hep C to care for themselves too.

Any more questions?

If you have any remaining questions about VIEKIRA PAK, speak to your Hep C doctor, pharmacist, or nurse, or read the Consumer Medicines Information (CMI) available on Medsafe for VIEKIRA PAK, or from your pharmacist.