Typically, boceprevir is taken three times a day, about seven to nine hours apart. Depending on your particular health situation, treatment may last between 24 and 44 weeks. Because boceprevir works best when taken with food, be sure to accompany each dose with a meal or a snack. This medication is always used as part of combination therapy with ribavirin and peginterferon alfa.
There is only one standard recommended dose of boceprevir (VICTRELIS™). However, the length of treatment will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- Whether you have liver cirrhosis
- Whether you have been treated previously for hepatitis C
- How you respond to treatment.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
The recommended boceprevir dosage for treating genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C is 800 mg, three times a day. Doses should be given about seven to nine hours apart with a meal or snack.
Boceprevir must be used in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin. You will take peginterferon and ribavirin for four weeks, and then start boceprevir at week 5. Your healthcare provider will check your viral levels at weeks 8, 12, and 24 to determine your optimal duration of treatment.
People without cirrhosis who have undetectable viral levels at weeks 8 and 24 will continue boceprevir, peginterferon alfa, and ribavirin until they have received 28 total weeks of treatment -- if they have never been treated in the past for hepatitis C.
However, those who have been treated in the past and who have undetectable viral levels at weeks 8 and 24 will continue boceprevir, peginterferon alfa, and ribavirin for a total of 36 weeks of treatment.
People without cirrhosis of the liver who have detectable viral levels at week 8 but undetectable levels at week 24 will receive boceprevir, peginterferon alfa, and ribavirin for a total of 36 weeks, and then peginterferon alfa and ribavirin for an additional 12 weeks, for a total 48 weeks of treatment.
Some people may receive 4 weeks of peginterferon alfa and ribavirin followed by 44 weeks of boceprevir, peginterferon alfa, and ribavirin. These people include those who:
- Were previously treated with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin, but did not have an adequate viral decrease after 12 weeks
- Respond poorly to the initial four-week treatment with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin
- Have liver cirrhosis at the start of treatment.
If an inadequate response to treatment is observed at week 12, treatment may be stopped then. Treatment also will be stopped if the virus is still detectable after 24 weeks of treatment.