Apretude (cabotegravir) is a brand-name drug prescribed to help prevent HIV in adults and some children. Apretude comes as an intramuscular injection that’s given by a healthcare professional.

Specifically, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Apretude for use as HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP treatment helps prevent HIV in people who have a risk of contracting HIV through sexual activity. Apretude is prescribed for adults and children ages 12 years and older of a certain body weight.

Apretude belongs to a drug class called integrase strand transfer inhibitors. Apretude isn’t available in a generic version.

Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Apretude, including its strength and how the medication is given. For a comprehensive look at Apretude, see this article.

Note: This article describes the typical dosage for Apretude provided by the drug’s manufacturer. However, your doctor will prescribe the Apretude dosage that’s right for you.

Read below for more details about Apretude’s dosage and other information about the drug.

Apretude form

Apretude comes as a liquid suspension (a type of mixture). Your doctor or another healthcare professional will give you Apretude by intramuscular injection.

Apretude strength

Apretude comes in one strength: 600 milligrams (mg) of the drug in 3 milliliters (mL) of suspension.

Typical dosage

The following information describes the dosage that’s commonly prescribed or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for HIV PrEP

Apretude is prescribed for HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in adults who weigh at least 35 kilograms (kg). For reference, 1 kg is about 2.2 pounds (lb), so 35 kg is about 77 lb.

The recommended dosage for HIV PrEP is a single 600-mg injection once per month for 2 months. Then, 2 months after your second dose, you’ll receive a single 600-mg injection once every 2 months. This is the recommended dosing schedule for continued Apretude treatment.

Children’s dosage

Apretude is prescribed for HIV PrEP in children ages 12 years and older who weigh at least 35 kg (about 77 lb). Apretude’s dosage for children is the same as the adult dosage. See “Dosage for HIV PrEP” just above.

Note: Apretude is not approved for use in children younger than 12 years old.

Long-term treatment

Apretude is meant to be a long-term treatment to help prevent HIV. If you and your doctor determine that Apretude is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

The Apretude dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on your treatment plan and other medications you take.

Dosage adjustments

If you take the drug rifabutin with Apretude, your doctor may increase your Apretude dosage. Tell your doctor about all of the medications you take.

Your doctor or another healthcare professional will give you Apretude as an intramuscular injection into your buttocks. You’ll receive your doses at your doctor’s office.

To learn more about Apretude injections, refer to the drug manufacturer’s information about what to expect. If you have additional questions, talk with your doctor for more information.

Typically, you can receive your Apretude injection 7 days before or after your scheduled appointment. Keep this in mind in case you’re planning a vacation or time away from your regular routine. In some cases, your doctor may recommend an oral medication to replace your missed Apretude dose.

If you miss an appointment for your Apretude injection, call your doctor’s office as soon as possible to reschedule. If it’s been more than 7 days since your missed dose, follow the directions your doctor gives you.

To help make sure that you don’t miss an appointment, make a note for yourself on a calendar or set a reminder on your phone.

Below are some frequently asked questions about Apretude and its dosage.

Will I need to take an oral form of Apretude before starting my injections?

Not necessarily. In some cases, doctors may recommend an oral form of cabotegravir for 28 days before starting Apretude injections.* (Cabotegravir is the active drug in Apretude.) This practice can help you and your doctor find out how your body responds to the drug.

If your doctor prescribes oral cabotegravir, they’ll explain your dosing schedule. Typically, you’ll start Apretude injections on day 28 or up to 3 days after your last dose of oral medication.

If you have questions about what to expect, talk with your doctor for more information.

* Apretude is given by a healthcare professional as an intramuscular injection.

It’s been more than 2 months since my first Apretude injection. Do I need to start over?

Yes. If it’s been longer than 2 months since your first Apretude injection, your doctor will likely recommend that you restart treatment. For details about Apretude’s dosing schedule, see the “Apretude dosage” section above. Your doctor can provide more information about restarting Apretude.

The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Apretude for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

If you have questions about the dosage of Apretude that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.

Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Apretude. These additional articles might be helpful:

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.