You are here

Presenting Prezcobix

Prezcobix is a two-drug combination regimen fusing darunavir (brand name Prezista) with cobicistat (Tybost). Darunavir belongs to a class of drugs called protease inhibitors. Protease inhibitors (or PIs) use to be the HIV drugs with the highest pill burden and the most side effects — but not any longer. PIs stop HIV from multiplying.

Cobicistat, meanwhile, is a booster drug that increases the effectiveness of HIV medicines. In a clinical study, 70 percent of adults maintained an undetectable viral load (rendering them un-infectious) with a darunavir-based HIV regimen. Prezcobix is useful for adults with HIV new to treatment and those who haven’t developed resistance to darunavir.

Prezcobix must be combined with at least two other HIV treatments (usually nucleoside analogues, or ‘nukes’, which help prevent the CD4 cells from producing new HIV). Dosing is one tablet once a day to be taken with food, with each pink pill consisting of 800mg of darunavir and 150mg of cobicistat.

Although generally well-tolerated, common side effects of Prezcobix include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, headache and abdominal pain. Skin rash is another common side effect, although Prezcobix manufacturers, Janssen, report the rash to be “mostly mild-to-moderate”, and often only occurring within the first four weeks of commencing treatment before resolving over time. (If, however, the rash is severe it’s recommended that you contact your healthcare provider immediately.)

As well, Prezcobix may cause liver problems.  As a result, liver function tests will be carried out before and during treatment. People with HIV co-infected with hepatitis B and hepatitis C have an increased chance of developing liver problems so liver function will be monitored more regularly. Kidney injury can also sometimes occur or grow worse when Prezcobix is taken with other medicines. There is also a risk of diabetes or worsening diabetes, and high-blood sugar. Increased levels of insulin have also been noted, as have changes in body fat (fat wasting and fat gain).

As a booster agent, the cobicistat component increases the levels of other drugs in the body, which may increase the risk of serious side effects — always be sure to inform your healthcare provider of any other medications you may be taking (including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamin supplements and herbal remedies).

Prezcobix should not be used during pregnancy as its safety on that population has not been studied. Janssen also advises that caution should be taken “in the administration and monitoring of Prezcobix in elderly patients”.

In short: Prezcobix lowers pill burden, which eases adherence, and has less toxicity and higher tolerability than older PIs. 

latest news

March 7, 2017
“For me, being told that I couldn’t have children was harder than the diagnosis itself."
March 7, 2017
"People in heterosexual relationships seem to think that HIV could never affect them — but it does.”
March 1, 2017
In a major breakthrough, scientists in Geelong have discovered a protein that could prevent HIV. 
February 1, 2017
This is a film that delves into a not-too-distant time when the gay community was devastated by HIV/AIDS.
January 30, 2017
Sydney's Albion Centre is providing free mindfulness sessions for people living with HIV.
January 24, 2017
A survey is being conducted to better understand the experience and challenges of living with HIV.
January 17, 2017
During the holiday break, the HIV community sadly lost one of its most beloved leaders.
January 17, 2017
Young heterosexual people living with HIV are among the most isolated in the positive community.
January 12, 2017
PrEP will be made available to 2,000 Queenslanders at risk of HIV this year; access sites are recruiting now. 
January 9, 2017
The Positive Living team would appreciate it if you could find the time to complete a short online survey. 
December 16, 2016
Four, simple, practical actions you can take to stay happy, healthy and connected over the holiday season.
December 12, 2016
MyLife+ is a world-first app for PLHIV, with unique tools to help PLHIV take more control of their health.
December 7, 2016
It's a story we hear less often. but one that deserves to be heard. Two women with HIV share their stories. 
December 6, 2016
Gaëtan Dugas — the man dubbed ‘Patient Zero’ has, after more than three decades, been exonerated.
December 6, 2016
The last few years has seen a monumental shift in the way people living with HIV see ourselves.