Mavyret & Alcohol Interactions

Mavyret is an antiviral prescription medicine used to treat chronic hepatitis C infection. However, the treatment can cause serious side effects if it isn’t monitored carefully by a doctor.
Evidence Based
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What is Mavyret (Glecaprevir-Pibrentasvir)?

Mavyret is an antiviral prescription medicine authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The medication treats chronic hepatitis C virus infection (HCV). 

Mavyret is prescribed for individuals who meet specific requirements, as decided by a healthcare provider. Mavyret is not available as an over-the-counter medicine.

Other treatments for hep C include:

  • Sofosbuvir (used with carbamazepine)
  • Ribavirin
  • Harvoni
  • Epclusa
  • Ledipasvir

Hepatitis C is an opportunistic infection (OI) of HIV. An OI is an infection that develops more frequently. It affects those with weakened immune systems more often than those with healthy immune systems. Hepatitis C infection causes liver inflammation, which can result in liver problems, liver disease, or liver failure.

Some patients experiencing chronic HCV infection may develop jaundice (yellowish skin or eyes) and other complications over time. These issues include bleeding, fluid accumulation in the abdomen, liver cancer, infections, and death.

Mavyret also treats people with moderate to severe kidney disease and patients on dialysis. The medicine is also approved for adults with HCV genotype 1 infection who have been treated with a regimen containing an NS5A inhibitor or an NS3/4A protease inhibitor. However, the treatment cannot include both.

Mavyret treatment of eight weeks is approved for all HCV genotypes 1 - 6 in adult patients without cirrhosis who have not already been treated. Previously, the standard treatment length was 12 weeks or longer.

Side Effects of Mavyret 

Taking Mavyret for hepatitis C may cause side effects, some serious and some common.

Speak to your doctor for medical advice if any of these common side effects or symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Itching

Serious side effects can occur too. Call your doctor if you experience any of these serious side effects of Mavyret:

  • Confusion
  • Tiredness
  • Swelling of the stomach area
  • Vomiting blood or material that resembles coffee grounds
  • Dark, black, or bloody stools
  • Nausea
  • Jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes)
  • Bleeding or bruising more easily than usual
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark or brown urine
  • Lightheadedness
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation

In people who had or have advanced liver problems before taking Mavyret, there is a rare risk of worsening medical conditions. These medical conditions include liver disease or liver failure. In extreme cases, prolonged use of Mavyret can even cause death. During your treatment with Mavyret, your doctor will assess you for a decompensated liver.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reaction is another serious side effect of taking Mavyret. Before starting treatment for hepatitis C, you will take blood tests for HBV. If you’ve ever had HBV, the infection could become active again during or after treatment for HCV with Mavyret. 

Reactivation may lead to severe liver damage, including liver failure and death. Your doctor will check whether you are at risk for HBV during and after Mavyret treatment.

Mavyret for Hepatitis C Treatment

The hep C virus can create around a trillion copies a day. Mavyret is a combination of two medications, glecaprevir-pibrentasvir. These two medicines work together to help stop the hep C virus from multiplying.

The glecaprevir-pibrentasvir combination comes as a tablet. This tablet is taken by mouth. It is usually consumed with food once daily for between eight to sixteen weeks. The medicine should be taken around the same time every day. 

Patients taking Mavyret for HCV treatment should follow the directions on the prescription label carefully. If you don’t understand anything on the label, speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice. 

If you miss a dose of Mavyret, and it’s been 18 hours or less, take the missed tablet with food as soon as you can. However, if more than 18 hours have passed since the time you usually take your Mavyret dose, skip the missed dose, and then continue with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose.

Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Mavyret?

Mavyret doesn’t have any reported drug interactions with alcohol use. However, you shouldn’t be drinking alcohol if you have hep C virus (HCV).

Dangers: Mavyret and Alcohol Interaction

Drinking alcohol makes HCV worse. This can result in medical conditions, including severe scarring (cirrhosis) in the liver.

If you’re concerned about how to stop your alcohol use, talk with your doctor for medical advice. For the best help, speak with a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD).


Ready to Make a Change?

Resources

FDA approves Mavyret for Hepatitis C, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 2017, https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-mavyret-hepatitis-c

Glecaprevir and Pibrentasvir, MedlinePlus, 2020, https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a617039.html

Glecaprevir / Pibrentasvir, Aids Info, 2020, https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/drugs/598/mavyret/0/patient

Common side effects, Mavyret, 2019, https://www.mavyret.com/side-effects

How to take Mavyret, Mavyret, 2019, https://www.mavyret.com/hep-c-treatment 

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Updated on: August 25, 2020
Author
Ellie Swain
About
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Medically Reviewed: August 21, 2020
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Annamarie Coy,
BA, CADACII/ICADC, ICPR, MATS
About
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