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Updated on December 3, 2021

Mavyret & Alcohol Interactions

What is Mavyret Used For?

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
  • 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.

What Are The 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.

Do not take Mavyret if you have a liver condition or if you are taking the medications atazanavir or rifampin.

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Does Mavyret Really Cure Hep C?

AbbVie's Mavyret (glecaprevir-pibrentasvir) is very effective in curing hepatitis C virus (HCV) after about eight weeks of use.

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.

What Happens If You 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).

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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).

Mavyret: Common Questions and Answers

How long do Mavyret side effects last?

Most side effects of Mavyret are usually mild and do not require medical attention. During treatment, these side effects will likely diminish quickly as you adjust to the medicine.

Can you take Tylenol with Mavyret?

There are no known interactions between Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Mavyret.

Does alcohol make Hep C worse?

If you have HCV and drink alcohol heavily, extreme liver damage can occur. You should not drink alcohol if you have chronic Hep C because it can lead to cirrhosis (permanent liver scarring).

Does Mavyret cause weight gain?

Weight gain is not a side effect of Mavyret. However, some patients may lose weight because the medication can make you nauseous.

Can you drink alcohol after Hep C treatment?

If you are cured of Hep C, you may be cleared to drink moderate amounts of alcohol again (up to 2 standard drinks per day for men and 1 standard drink per day for women). However, it is essential to talk with your doctor beforehand.

Treatment Options for Alcohol Abuse & Addiction

Here are some of the best treatments for AUD:

Inpatient Programs

Inpatient treatment is the most intensive and effective option for alcohol addiction treatment. These programs usually last 30, 60, or 90 days. They may be longer in some cases.

Throughout an inpatient program, you'll live on-site in a safe, substance-free environment. You'll go through medically supervised detox first, then behavioral therapy. Other services may be added to your regimen.

Many of these treatment programs assist you with an aftercare program afterward.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)

PHPs are the second most intensive alcohol addiction programs. They're sometimes called intensive outpatient programs (IOPs). PHPs provide comparable services to inpatient programs.

These services may include:

  • Detox
  • Medical services
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Support groups
  • Other holistic or custom treatments

The main difference between PHPs and inpatient programs is that you return home and sleep at your house during a partial hospitalization program.

Some PHPs provide food and transportation. This varies by program.

PHPs are ideal for new patients and those who have completed an inpatient program and still require intensive treatment.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient programs are less intensive than inpatient programs and PHPs. They're best for people who are highly motivated to achieve sobriety. Patients usually have responsibilities at work, home, or school.

These programs customize your treatment sessions around your schedule.

Outpatient programs may be part of aftercare once a patient completes an inpatient program or PHP.

Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT)

Certain people qualify for medication-assisted therapy. Some medications can assist you throughout detox and withdrawal. Others can reduce cravings and normalize your bodily functions.

The most common medications used to treat AUD are:

  • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
  • Acamprosate (Campral)
  • Naltrexone (Revia and Vivitrol)

MAT can help prevent relapse and increase your chance of recovery if combined with other therapies.

Support Groups

Support groups are peer-led organizations made of people dedicated to helping each other stay sober. They can be the first step towards sobriety or part of an aftercare plan.

Many of these programs follow the 12-step approach.

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Resources

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  1. 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
  2. Glecaprevir and Pibrentasvir, MedlinePlus, 2020, https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a617039.html
  3. Glecaprevir / Pibrentasvir, Aids Info, 2020, https://clinicalinfo.hiv.gov/en/drugs
  4. Common side effects, Mavyret, 2019, https://www.mavyret.com/side-effects
  5. How to take Mavyret, Mavyret, 2019, https://www.mavyret.com/hep-c-treatment 

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