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Cabenuva (Cabotegravir; Rilpivirine): Side Effects, Uses, Doses and Interactions


GENERIC NAME(s): Cabotegravir; Rilpivirine extended-release injectable suspension

BRAND NAME(s): Cabenuva


Cabenuva is a medication used to control HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection. It contains booth Cabotegravir and Rilpivirine. Cabotegravir is an integrase inhibitor. And, Rilpivirine is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). This drug helps block the virus from growing. However, it is not a cure for HIV infection.


Common Cabenuva side-effects include:

  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Bruising
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Injection site pain or discomfort

Rare but temporary symptoms may also occur after receiving the Cabenuva injection; including:

  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Mouth numbness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath

Most of the above mentioned symptoms stopped within a few minutes after having the injection. Tell your doctor or health care provider if you have any of these symptoms.

Get medical help right away if you have any serious symptoms; including:

  • Severe tiredness
  • Muscle aches or weakness that doesn’t go away
  • Joint pain
  • Vision changes
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Headaches that are severe or don’t go away
  • Numbness or tingling of the feet, hands, arms or legs
  • Signs of infection such as chills, fever, trouble breathing, swollen lymph nodes, cough, non-healing skin sores
  • Signs of an overactive thyroid such as nervousness, heat intolerance, irritability, irregular heartbeat, unusual growth in the neck, bulging eyes
  • Signs of a certain nerve problem (Guillain-Barre syndrome) such as moving eyes, trouble breathing, paralysis, drooping face, trouble speaking
  • Signs of liver disease such as loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting that doesn’t stop, stomach or abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes, skin (jaundice).

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • mental or mood changes (such as depression, thoughts of suicide).


Do not use Cabenuva injectables if you are allergic to Cabotegravir or Rilpivirine or if you have a history of any other allergies.

Some medications may interact with Cabenuva. It is advisable here not to take other medicines together with Cabenuva. These products include:

  • Dexamethasone
  • Methadone
  • St. John’s wort
  • Certain antibiotics such as Azithromycin, Rifampin, Erythromycin, Rifabutin, Clarithromycin, Rifapentine
  • Medicines for seizures such as Oxcarbazepine, Carbamazepine, Phenobarbital and Phenytoin.

Tell your doctor or health care provider if you have ever had any of the following disease; especially:

  • Liver disease such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  • Mental illness
  • An allergic reaction after taking medicines containing Cabotegravir or Rilpivirine
  • Long QT syndrome

To reduce the risk of spreading HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) disease to others, continue taking all prescribed HIV drugs and medications. In addition, take following precautions:

  • Use latex or polyurethane condoms during sexual activity
  • Do not share personal items such as razors, toothbrushes, needles or syringes

Do not use this medicine during pregnancy. Tell your doctor or health care provider if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.

It is not still clear whether Cabotegravir and Rilpivirine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you’re breast-feeding.


Usual Adult Dose for HIV Infection: (1)

Initiation Injections:
-Cabotegravir: 600 mg IM once as a single dose
-Rilpivirine: 900 mg IM once as a single dose

Continuation Injections:
-Cabotegravir: 400 mg IM once a month
-Rilpivirine: 600 mg IM once a month


Cabenuva may interact with other drugs and may change its working or may increase the risk of having serious side-effects. Do not use this medicine while having other medication that are used to treat HIV. Do not use Cabenuva with other medicines that contain Cabotegravir or Rilpivirine.

Other drugs can affect the removal of Rilpivirine and Cabotegravir from the body, which may affect how this medicine works. Examples may include:

  • Apalutamide
  • Dexamethasone
  • Enzalutamide
  • Certain macrolide antibiotics (such as Clarithromycin, Erythromycin)
  • Rifamycins (such as Rifampin, Rifapentine)
  • St. John’s wort
  • Certain drugs used to treat seizures such as Carbamazepine, Oxcarbazepine, Phenobarbital, Phenytoin, Primidone
  • A certain combination product used to treat chronic hepatitis C such as Ombitasvir, Paritaprevir, Ritonavir, Dasabuvir.


  • Your doctor will inject Cabenuva injection into the muscle of each side of your buttocks.
  • You will receive it as two injections (such as Cabotegravir and Rilpivirine), one time every 30 days.
  • Before receiving your first doses of Cabenuva injection, your doctor will have you take one Vocabria (cabotegravir) tablet and one Edurant (Rilpivirine) tablet one time a day for one month. This will allow your doctor to assess how well you tolerate these drugs or medications.
  • Cabenuva is a long-acting medication which may stay for 12 months in your system or longer after your last injection.
  • Stay under the supervision of a doctor during the treatment with Cabenuva. It is important that you attend your planned appointments to receive your doses.
  • If you miss or plan to miss a scheduled monthly injection of Cabenuva by more than 7 days, call your doctor right away to discuss your treatment options.


Cabenuva is a FDA approved drug used to to treat HIV disease. It contains two medicines: Cabotegravir and Rilpivirine. For more details, consult your doctor or health care provider.


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