Drug information

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Brand Name:
Vocabria
Other Names:
CAB, cabotegravir sodium
Drug Class:
Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitor (INSTIs)
What are the most important things to know about cabotegravir?What are the most important things to know about cabotegravir?

What are the most important things to know about cabotegravir?

Cabotegravir can cause serious side effects. These include severe skin rash and allergic reactions, liver problems, and depression or mood changes.

Contact your health care provider right away if you develop a rash while taking cabotegravir. Stop taking cabotegravir and get medical help right away if you develop a rash with any of the following symptoms:

  • General ill feeling
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Fever
  • Blistering or peeling skin
  • Blisters or sores in your mouth
  • Redness or swelling of your eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Swelling of your face, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing

Some people taking cabotegravir may develop liver problems. People with a history of liver disease may have an increased risk of developing new or worsening liver problems while taking cabotegravir. Liver problems have also occurred in people without a history of liver problems or other risk factors. Liver function tests may be done before and during treatment with cabotegravir. 

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of liver problems: 

  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Light-colored bowel movements
  • Loss of appetite for several days or longer
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain, aching, or tenderness on the right side of your stomach area
  • Itching

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of depression or mood changes:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Feeling anxious or restless
  • Harming yourself or having thoughts about harming yourself (including suicidal thoughts)

While taking cabotegravir, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.

What is cabotegravir?What is cabotegravir?

What is cabotegravir?

Cabotegravir is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the short-term treatment of HIV infection in adults who meet certain requirements, as determined by a health care provider. Cabotegravir is always used with the HIV medicine rilpivirine (brand name: Edurant).

HIV medicines can’t cure HIV/AIDS, but taking HIV medicines every day helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission. If you are taking HIV medicines, don’t cut down on, skip, or stop taking them unless your health care provider tells you to. 

What should I tell my health care provider before taking cabotegravir? What should I tell my health care provider before taking cabotegravir?

What should I tell my health care provider before taking cabotegravir?

Before taking cabotegravir, tell your health care provider:

  • If you are allergic to cabotegravir or any other medicines.
  • If you have ever had liver problems.
  • If you have ever had mental health problems.
  • If you have any other medical conditions.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits of taking cabotegravir during pregnancy.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. For women with HIV in the United States, the Guideline does not recommend breastfeeding. Before your baby is born, or if you are already breastfeeding, talk to your health care provider to discuss alternative options for feeding your baby. 
  • If you are using hormone-based birth control (such as pills, implants, or vaginal rings). For more information about using birth control and HIV medicines at the same time, view the HIVinfo HIV and Birth Control infographic.
  • About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Cabotegravir may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how cabotegravir works. Taking cabotegravir together with certain medicines or products may cause serious side effects.
How should I take cabotegravir?How should I take cabotegravir?

How should I take cabotegravir?

Cabotegravir (brand name: Vocabria) comes in 30-mg tablets.

Take cabotegravir according to your health care provider’s instructions.

Cabotegravir is always used with the HIV medicine rilpivirine (brand name: Edurant). Take cabotegravir and rilpivirine by mouth at approximately the same time each day with food.

If you take antacid products that contain aluminum or magnesium hydroxide or calcium carbonate, they should be taken at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after you take cabotegravir.

If you take too much cabotegravir, contact your health care provider or local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) right away, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

For more information on how to take cabotegravir, see the FDA drug label.

What should I do if I forget a dose?What should I do if I forget a dose?

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of cabotegravir, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and just take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.

What side effects can cabotegravir cause?What side effects can cabotegravir cause?

What side effects can cabotegravir cause?

Cabotegravir may cause side effects. Some side effects of cabotegravir can be serious as noted above. Many side effects from HIV medicines, such as nausea or occasional dizziness, are manageable. See the HIV fact sheet on HIV Medicines and Side Effects for more information.

Other possible side effects of cabotegravir include:

  • Headache
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disorders

Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of cabotegravir. To learn more about possible side effects of cabotegravir, read the drug label or package insert or talk to your health care provider or pharmacist.

You can report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or online.

How should cabotegravir be stored?How should cabotegravir be stored?

How should cabotegravir be stored?

  • Store cabotegravir below 86°F (30°C).
  • Keep cabotegravir in the container that it came in and keep the container tightly closed.
  • Do not use cabotegravir if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.
  • Throw away cabotegravir that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
  • Keep cabotegravir and all medicines out of reach of children.
Where can I find more information about cabotegravir?Where can I find more information about cabotegravir?

Where can I find more information about cabotegravir?

More information about cabotegravir is available:

Manufacturer InformationManufacturer Information

Manufacturer Information

ViiV Healthcare

Main number: 877-844-8872
Patient assistance (ViiV Connect): 844-588-3288

The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Tablet (film-coated).

Last Reviewed: January 23, 2021