Viekira Pak®

Easy-to-read medicine information about Viekira Pak® – what is it, how to take Viekira Pak® safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Direct-acting antiviral (DAA)
  • Medicine to treat hepatitis C
  • Paritaprevir + ritonavir + ombitasvir and dasabuvir 

What is Viekira Pak?

  • Viekira Pak is used to treat chronic hepatitis C, a viral infection of the liver. It is used in people with the hepatitis C virus genotype 1b. 
  • It is a combination of medicines in 2 tablets:
    • Paritaprevir + ritonavir + ombitasvir (pink tablet).
    • Dasabuvir (beige tablet).
  • The medicines in Viekira Pak work by stopping the hepatitis C virus from multiplying. It is very effective with a cure rate of more than 90%.
  • Viekira Pak can be obtained only from certain pharmacies. For a list and map of these pharmacies, see: www.viekira.co.nz/location 

For some types of hepatitis C, ribavirin (RBV) is added to Viekira Pak – this is called Viekira Pak-RBV.

Dose

  • The usual dose of Viekira Pak is 4 tablets a day taken as:
    • Paritaprevir/ritonavir/ombitasvir (PINK tablet) – 2 tablets in the morning
    • Dasabuvir (BEIGE tablet) – 1 tablet in the morning and 1 tablet in the evening.
  • Keep taking your Viekira Pak tablets every day – you will need to take them for 12 weeks.
  • Always take these medicines exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much to take, how often to take it and any special instructions.

How to take Viekira Pak

  • Swallow your tablets whole with a glass of water at the same times each day.
  • These tablets are best taken with food. It helps the medicine work better.
  • Swallow your tablets whole. Do not chew, crush or break them.
  • If you forget your dose of the PINK tablet, and it is more than 12 hours late, the missed dose should not be taken, and the next dose should be taken at the normal time. 
  • If you forget your dose of the BEIGE tablet, and it is more than 6 hours late, the missed dose should not be taken, and the next dose should be taken at the normal time. 

Monitoring

You may need to have blood tests to check haemoglobin (Hb) and liver function. Your doctor or nurse will tell you how often these should be done and which tests you need.

Pregnancy

Do not take Viekira Pak if you or your partner are pregnant. You may need a pregnancy test before treatment.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, the tablets in Viekira Pak can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • These are quite common when you first start taking Viekira Pak and usually go away with time.
  • Headache
  • Try paracetamol. Check that this can be taken with any other medications you may take.
  • Signs of worsening problems with your liver such as yellow skin or eyes, pain in the tummy, swelling of the legs and feet
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine on 0800 611 116 
  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as skin rashes, redness, itching, blisters on the skin
  • Viekira Pak can cause a rash that is not serious, but it can also cause a rash that could be a sign of a severe allergic reaction, so tell your doctor right away if you see a rash. 

Interactions

When certain medications are taken together, an unintended reaction may occur – this is known as an interaction. The tablets in Viekira Pak may interact with a few medications and herbal supplements, so always check this with your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn more

If you have any questions about your medicines or about the combination of medicines that you are taking, or if you are worried about any side effects or interactions please talk to your pharmacist or doctor. The following links provide further information on Viekira Pak

Viekira Pak® Medsafe Consumer Information (NZ)

 
Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 19 Oct 2016