Maybe you’ve heard, maybe you haven’t, but injectable HIV drugs are the next big thing in HIV treatment. VIIV pharmaceuticals has been working on a combination injectable containing an integrase inhibitor (Cabotegravir) and Rilpivirine (a Non-nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor). The injection would be given once monthly, and, so far, in phase III trials, showed a favorable side effect and safety profile as well as high efficacy (low rate of treatment failure).
As far back as 2016, studies were showing that “91% of people who received the injections every 4 weeks and 92% of those who did so every 8 weeks had undetectable viral load at week 48.”
Most of the participants in the clinical trials reported some side effects (likely pain) at the injection site. However, 85 percent of these were mild reactions while 14 percent were more moderate. Other common side effects were cold-like symptoms, diarrhea, and headache.
VIIV submitted their request to the U.S. FDA for approval at the end of April 2019. Now, it’s just a waiting game but hopefully it will come available later this year or early in 2020. Stay tuned…
Jeremiah Robinson is a licensed and certified Physician Assistant at T. Douglas Gurley MD in Atlanta, GA.