Elvitegravir (Vitekta)

Elvitegravir (Vitekta) belongs to the class of antiretroviral drugs known as integrase inhibitors. The drug works against HIV's integrase protein, blocking its ability to integrate its genetic code into human cells.

It was given marketing approval in Europe in November 2013.

Elvitegravir is formulated as a green, pentagon-shaped, 85mg tablet and as a green triangle-shaped 150mg tablet. The dose of elvitegravir is 85mg (one pentagon tablet) once a day if taken with atazanavir/ritonavir or lopinavir/ritonavir, or 150mg (one triangle tablet) once a day if taken with darunavir/ritonavir or fosamprenavir/ritonavir. It should be taken with food.

Vitekta contains lactose, so it is important for your prescribing doctor to know if you are lactose intolerant.

Common side-effects experienced by people taking elvitegravir include: stomach pain, vomiting, rashes, headache, diarrhoea, nausea, tiredness.

Rare side-effects include: depression, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, problems with digestion (dyspepsia), feeling bloated, flatulence, dizziness, tingling, sleepiness, abnormal taste.

It is very important to tell your prescribing doctor about any drugs you are taking, whether they are prescribed by another doctor, bought from a pharmacy, or herbal, recreational, or other drugs. Do not take with carbamazepine, phenobarbital or phenytoin (drugs used to treat epilepsy), rifampicin, St John’s wort, or the boosting agent cobicistat. Elvitegravir also interacts with other drugs, so it is important to tell your doctor about any other drugs you are taking, including rifabutin, warfarin, hormonal contraceptives, bosentan, antacids or multivitamins.