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What should I know about Viekira Pak before taking it?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
Here are some key facts to know before you take Viekira Pak:
  • Viekira Pak isn't recommended for people with advanced liver disease, because it can lead to severe liver injury and/or failure.
  • Women should not use medications containing ethinyl estradiol, a type of estrogen, while taking Viekira Pak. This includes certain birth control pills, vaginal rings and patches, and hormone replacement drugs. They can interact with Viekira Pak and cause liver problems. Women should use a different form of birth control while taking Viekira Pak and for at least two weeks after stopping it. 
  • Viekira Pak may interact with many other drugs. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all other medications, prescription or nonprescription, and supplements you take. 
  • Viekira Pak usually causes only mild side effects, including nausea, itching and sleep problems. Tell your health care provider right away if you begin to have any of these symptoms while taking Viekira Pak, or if they worsen: yellow skin or eyes, color changes in your stools, fatigue or weakness, loss of sppetite or upset stomach. 
  • Tell your doctor if you're pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Studies haven't yet determined if Viekira Pak is safe to take during pregnancy. However, Viekira Pak is often taken along with another hepatitis C drug, ribavirin, and ribavirin is known NOT to be safe in pregnancy. Ribavirin may cause birth defects or death of the baby if taken during pregnancy. The male partners of women who are pregnant should also not take ribavirin. 
  • It isn't known if breastfeeding is safe while taking Viekira Pak. Ask your doctor about the best way to feed your baby while taking Viekira Pak.
Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Your doctor will need to check your liver enzymes before starting treatment.

If you have moderate to severe liver impairment, you should not take Viekira.

If you are pregnant, may be pregnant, or are planning a prenancy, Viekira may not be a good option for you. It is not known if it is safe for pregnant women. 

It is not known if Viekira is safe or effective for people under 18 years of age.

If you are breastfeeding, Viekira may not be a good option for you. It is not known if this drug can be passed into breast milk. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.