Frequently
Asked Questions

Frequently
Asked Questions

CABENUVA is a different kind of HIV treatment, so you may have different kinds of questions. That’s perfectly okay. Below are answers to some things that may be on your mind.

Learning about CABENUVA

  • What is CABENUVA?

    CABENUVA is the first and only long-acting, complete HIV regimen you get once every month, instead of a treatment you take every day.

    You’ll take about a month of once-daily starter pills before beginning CABENUVA. Stay under the care of your doctor during treatment.

    Learn more about CABENUVA.

  • What does “undetectable” mean?

    Undetectable means the amount of HIV in the blood is below the level that can be measured by a lab test (less than 50 copies/mL).

  • Do I have to be undetectable to get CABENUVA?

    CABENUVA is approved for adults who are currently undetectable. Talk to your doctor to see if CABENUVA could be right for you.

  • Can CABENUVA keep me undetectable?

    CABENUVA is clinically proven to keep people undetectable between monthly injections.

    To help stay undetectable, it’s important to keep your monthly appointments and stick with your treatment plan.

    Long-acting CABENUVA contains 2 medicines that slowly release over time to keep around the same level of medicine in your body between monthly appointments.

    Results may vary.

    See the CABENUVA clinical study results.

  • How long has CABENUVA been around?

    CABENUVA was approved by the FDA in 2021. It contains 2 HIV medicines to make the first long-acting, complete HIV regimen you get once every month.

  • What medicines make up CABENUVA?

    CABENUVA includes rilpivirine and cabotegravir. Oral rilpivirine has been an HIV treatment option since 2011. Cabotegravir, a medicine from another established drug class, was approved in 2021.

Getting started on CABENUVA

  • How do I start?

    The first step is to talk to your doctor. Once they prescribe CABENUVA, they’ll walk you through how to switch to CABENUVA and answer any questions that may come up. 

    Before beginning monthly CABENUVA injections, your doctor will have you start with pills that contain the 2 medicines in CABENUVA, to see how your body responds. You’ll take these 2 starter pills once a day with a meal, for about a month.

    Learn more about getting started with CABENUVA.

  • How much does CABENUVA cost? Will my insurance cover CABENUVA?

    If you’re prescribed CABENUVA, you can enroll in ViiVConnect to determine your insurance coverage and find out if you’re eligible for programs that may help lower your out-of-pocket costs.

    The amount you pay for CABENUVA will largely depend on your insurance coverage, so contact your provider, as they know the details of your plan. Your doctor’s office, insurance provider, and ViiVConnect can help you better understand your out-of-pocket costs.

    Learn more about ViiVConnect.

  • Why do I have to take starter pills before I start CABENUVA injections?

    Each starter pill contains one of the medicines in CABENUVA. You’ll replace your current HIV regimen with these starter pills so you and your doctor can see how your body responds to the 2 medicines in CABENUVA before beginning the long-acting injections. 

    While you’re getting your regular monthly injections, you won’t have to take any more pills to treat your HIV. 

  • Should I finish my current prescription of HIV pills or switch to the starter pills now?

    This is an important question for your doctor, who may advise you to switch to the starter pills right when you get them, or to finish your current medication first.

What to expect the day of your treatment appointment

  • When can I start my monthly injections?

    Before beginning monthly CABENUVA injections, you will complete about a month of once-daily starter pills.

    You’ll take the last dose of your starter pills on the same day as your first CABENUVA injection treatment. Stay under the care of your doctor during treatment.

  • Who injects CABENUVA?

    CABENUVA is given to you by a trained healthcare professional.

  • Where on my body do I get my injectable treatment?

    During your appointment, a trained healthcare professional will give you 2 injections, 1 in each side of your buttocks. Each injection contains 1 of the 2 medicines in CABENUVA.

  • Do CABENUVA injections hurt?

    During the CABENUVA clinical studies, injection-site reactions were common and most were mild to moderate:

    • 83% of people experienced injection-site reactions
    • 99% of injection-site reactions were mild to moderate
    • 1% of people discontinued CABENUVA due to injection-site reactions

    Injection-site reactions included pain, tenderness, hardened mass or lump, swelling, redness, itching, bruising, and warmth at the injection site.

    Results may vary.

  • Can I return to regular activities right after my monthly treatment appointment?

    Your doctor may ask you to wait about 10 minutes after your treatment. Following that, it should be fine to return to your daily activities, but always check with your doctor.

  • Does someone need to drive me to and from my appointment?

    It should be fine to drive yourself to and from your appointment, but you should always check with your doctor.

Scheduling your appointments

  • Do I have to get CABENUVA on the same day every month?

    You and your doctor will choose 1 day a month that you will get your injectable treatment. That’s called your Target Treatment Date. It’s important to meet this date each month.

    If you can’t make your Target Treatment Date, be sure to contact your doctor right away. You have a Flexible Treatment Window—from 7 days before to 7 days after your Target Treatment Date. 

    To stay undetectable, it’s important to keep your monthly appointments and stick with your treatment plan.

  • What happens if I miss a dose of CABENUVA?

    If you miss or plan to miss your treatment appointment by more than 7 days, contact your doctor right away to discuss your treatment options.

  • What if I am traveling and can’t make my injection appointment?

    While it’s best to stick to your Target Treatment Date, things do come up. If you can’t make your Target Treatment Date because you’ll be out of town, make sure to contact your doctor right away to set up a new appointment and talk about your options. You’ll have a Flexible Treatment Window—from 7 days before to 7 days after your Target Treatment Date. 

    If you miss a dose or stop treatment, contact your doctor right away to make sure you stay undetectable.

  • What if next month’s Target Treatment Date falls on a weekend or doesn’t work for me?

    If you can’t make your Target Treatment Date for any reason, make sure to contact your doctor as soon as possible to set up a new appointment and talk about your options. You’ll have a Flexible Treatment Window—from 7 days before to 7 days after your Target Treatment Date.

    If you miss a dose or stop treatment, contact your doctor right away to make sure you stay undetectable.

  • My doctor’s office is far away from where I live. Do I have any other location options for getting my CABENUVA injections?

    If your doctor’s office is far away, you should talk to them about your options for getting CABENUVA. They may be able to refer you to a more convenient treatment location.

CABENUVA clinical studies

CABENUVA risks & side effects

  • What are the most common side effects of CABENUVA?

    The most common side effects of CABENUVA are injection-site reactions, fever, tiredness, headache, muscle or bone pain, nausea, sleep problems, dizziness, and rash. Injection-site reactions included pain, tenderness, hardened mass or lump, swelling, redness, itching, bruising, and warmth at the injection site.

    These aren’t the only possible side effects of CABENUVA. See the Risks & Side Effects page. Always tell your doctor if you experience any side effect.

    You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.        

  • Are there any drug interactions?

    Make sure to tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medicines interact with CABENUVA. 

    Do not receive CABENUVA if you are taking carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine, dexamethasone (more than a single-dose treatment), and St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum).

    Keep a list of your medicines and show it to your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

  • Can you develop treatment resistance while on CABENUVA?

    In the CABENUVA clinical studies, 1% of people experienced resistance to CABENUVA. Only people who did not respond to treatment were tested for resistance. 

    It’s important to keep your monthly appointments and stay on treatment to reduce the risk of developing resistance.

  • Can CABENUVA be administered during pregnancy?

    Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if CABENUVA can harm your unborn baby.

  • Is CABENUVA safe if I’m breastfeeding?

    Before you receive CABENUVA, tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you take CABENUVA. You should not breastfeed if you have HIV-1 because of the risk of passing HIV-1 to your baby. It is not known if CABENUVA can pass to your baby in your breast milk.

  • What if CABENUVA is not right for me?

    If you try CABENUVA and you don’t think it’s right for you, that’s okay. You can work with your doctor to switch to a treatment that’s a better fit for you.

IS once-monthly
treatment right
for you?

Here’s how to have the CABENUVA conversation with your doctor.

WHAT TO DISCUSS

WANT MORE
INFORMATION ABOUT
once-monthly
treatment?

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