• Drug Description: Cabenuva
  • Generic Name: Cabotegravir and Rilpivirine
  • Brand Name: Cabenuva
  • Dosage Form: Injectable suspension
  • Drug Class: Antiretroviral combination


What is Cabenuva?

Cabenuva is a groundbreaking medication used for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in certain individuals. It combines two active ingredients, Cabotegravir and Rilpivirine, to provide effective and convenient long-term management of the disease. Cabenuva is indicated for adults who are virologically suppressed on a stable antiretroviral regimen with no history of treatment failure or resistance to the individual components.

How Does Cabenuva Work?

Cabenuva contains Cabotegravir, which is an integrase strand transfer inhibitor, and Rilpivirine, a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. These two medications work synergistically to suppress the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) and reduce the viral load in the body. By inhibiting key enzymes required for the virus's replication cycle, Cabenuva helps to control the progression of HIV-1 infection.

The Benefits of Cabenuva:

  • Long-acting convenience: Cabenuva is administered as a monthly intramuscular injection, eliminating the need for daily oral dosing.
  • Enhanced adherence: With the long-acting formulation, Cabenuva helps improve medication adherence, reducing the risk of missed doses and treatment interruptions.
  • Virologic suppression: Cabenuva helps maintain virologic suppression, keeping HIV-1 RNA levels low and reducing the risk of viral resistance.
  • Simplified treatment regimen: Instead of multiple daily pills, Cabenuva provides a once-monthly injection, reducing the pill burden and enhancing treatment convenience.
  • Improved quality of life: By reducing the frequency of medication administration, Cabenuva offers a potential improvement in the quality of life for individuals living with HIV-1.

Warnings and Precautions:

  • Hypersensitivity: Cabenuva should not be used in individuals with a known hypersensitivity to Cabotegravir, Rilpivirine, or any of the other components of the medication.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: The safety of Cabenuva during pregnancy or breastfeeding has not been established. Consult with your healthcare provider regarding the potential risks and benefits of using Cabenuva in these situations.
  • Drug interactions: Cabenuva may interact with other medications, including certain anticonvulsants, rifampin, proton pump inhibitors, and others. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking to avoid potential interactions.
  • Immune reconstitution syndrome: During the initial phase of Cabenuva treatment, some individuals may experience immune reconstitution syndrome. This condition occurs when the immune system responds to previously hidden infections. Inform your healthcare provider if you develop new symptoms after starting Cabenuva.
  • Hepatotoxicity: Cases of hepatotoxicity (liver damage) have been reported with Cabenuva. Regular monitoring of liver function is recommended during treatment.

Before Using Cabenuva:

  1. Allergies: Report any known allergies or hypersensitivity reactions to medications, including Cabotegravir and Rilpivirine.
  2. Medical history: Discuss your complete medical history, especially liver disease, kidney disease, mental health disorders, and any previous experience with antiretroviral therapy.
  3. Current medications: Provide a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements you are currently taking, as they may interact with Cabenuva.

How is Cabenuva Administered?

Cabenuva is administered as a monthly intramuscular injection. The healthcare provider will administer the injection into the gluteal muscle (buttock area). It is important to receive the injections on schedule, approximately every four weeks, to maintain the therapeutic effects of the medication.

Possible Side Effects of Cabenuva:

Cabenuva, like any medication, can cause side effects. Common side effects reported with Cabenuva include:

Injection site reactions, such as pain, swelling, or nodules at the injection site.

It is essential to report any side effects or concerns to your healthcare provider promptly. They can provide guidance on managing side effects or adjust the treatment regimen if needed.

Further Information:

  • Remember to keep all appointments with your healthcare provider for regular monitoring and evaluation of your Cabenuva is a long-acting injectable formulation that provides sustained levels of medication in the body. It eliminates the need for daily oral dosing, offering convenience and improved medication adherence.
  • Regular monitoring of HIV-1 viral load and CD4+ cell count is necessary to assess the effectiveness of Cabenuva and ensure that the virus remains suppressed.
  • Cabenuva should only be prescribed by healthcare providers experienced in the management of HIV infection.
  • If a scheduled dose of Cabenuva is missed, it should be administered as soon as possible within the four-week dosing window. If the missed dose extends beyond the four-week dosing interval, the healthcare provider should consult the prescribing information for guidance on how to proceed.
  • Patients should not discontinue Cabenuva without consulting their healthcare provider, as discontinuation of therapy may lead to viral rebound and the development of drug-resistant strains of HIV.
  • Patients receiving Cabenuva should be educated on the importance of adherence to the medication schedule and the potential consequences of missed doses.
  • During treatment with Cabenuva, it is crucial to maintain regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider for ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and adjustment of the treatment plan as necessary.
  • Cabenuva does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections or prevent the transmission of HIV-1 to others. It is important to continue practicing safe sex and taking appropriate precautions.
  • If you experience any new or worsening symptoms while using Cabenuva, such as signs of an allergic reaction, severe injection site reactions, or any unusual side effects, promptly inform your healthcare provider. 

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