Cabenuva (cabotegravir/rilpivirine) is a brand-name drug that’s prescribed for HIV in adults and some children in certain cases. Cabenuva comes as an intramuscular injection that’s given monthly or every other month by a healthcare professional.

Cabenuva is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat HIV in adults and children ages 12 years and older. Cabenuva can only be prescribed to replace your current HIV therapy if:

Cabenuva is combination drug with two active ingredients: cabotegravir and rilpivirine. Cabotegravir belongs to a drug class called integrase inhibitors. Rilpivirine belongs to a drug class called non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Cabenuva isn’t available in a generic version.

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

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

The typically recommended dosing schedules for Cabenuva are described below.

Cabenuva form

Cabenuva comes as a kit containing extended-release liquid suspensions of cabotegravir and rilpivirine. (With extended release, the drug is released into your body slowly over time. And a liquid suspension is a type of mixture.)

Both drugs are given as intramuscular injections. Your doctor or another healthcare professional will give your injections at the doctor’s office.

Cabenuva strengths

Cabenuva injection kits come in two strengths:

  • 400 milligrams (mg) cabotegravir/600 mg rilpivirine
  • 600 mg cabotegravir/900 mg rilpivirine

Typical dosages

Typically, Cabenuva injections are prescribed either once monthly or once every 2 months. Both dosing schedules start with a higher dose. A higher dose at the start of treatment helps the drug begin working quickly.

The following information describes the dosages that are commonly prescribed in adults. However, you and your doctor will decide which dosing schedule is right for you.

Note: Before starting Cabenuva, your doctor may prescribe its active ingredients as oral tablets for 1 month. If your doctor recommends this, you’ll take Vocabria (cabotegravir) and Edurant (rilpivirine) for 1 month. For more information, talk with your doctor.

Dosage for HIV with monthly injections

Doctors may prescribe Cabenuva to treat HIV in certain people.*

If your doctor prescribes monthly injections, your first dose will likely be Cabenuva 600 mg/900 mg. One month later, you’ll receive Cabenuva 400 mg/600 mg. You’ll receive this dose once per month. This is the typically recommended dosage for people who receive Cabenuva monthly.

* Cabenuva is FDA-approved to treat HIV in people who weigh at least 35 kilograms (kg). One kg is about 2.2 pounds (lb).

Dosage for HIV with injections every 2 months

If your doctor prescribes injections every other month, your first dose will likely be Cabenuva 600 mg/900 mg. One month later, you’ll receive another dose of 600 mg/900 mg. Then, you’ll receive a dose of 600 mg/900 mg every 2 months. This is the typically recommended dosage for people who receive Cabenuva every other month. This is also the maximum dose of Cabenuva that’s recommended.

For more information about your specific dosage, talk with your doctor.

Children’s dosage

Cabenuva is approved to treat HIV in children ages 12 years and older. The children’s dosage is the same as the adult dosage. For details, see “Typical dosages” just above.

Talk with your child’s doctor if you have questions about their dosage.

Long-term treatment

Cabenuva is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Cabenuva is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely receive it long term.

Before you start taking Cabenuva, your doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you.

The Cabenuva dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • your age
  • your body weight
  • how your body responds to Cabenuva
  • other medications you take
  • side effects you may have with Cabenuva
  • other medical conditions you may have

Your doctor will give your Cabenuva dose as an intramuscular injection. At the same office visit, you’ll receive two injections: one for cabotegravir and one for rilpivirine. Your doctor may give you one injection on each side of your buttocks or both injections on the same side.

If you have questions about this, talk with your doctor or healthcare professional.

If you miss an appointment for your Cabenuva injections, call your doctor’s office as soon as possible to reschedule. They’ll adjust your dosing schedule as needed. Typically, you have 7 days before or after your scheduled appointment to receive your missed dose to stay on your current schedule.

If you miss a dose and aren’t able to stay on your current schedule, your doctor will decide how to continue your treatment. They may prescribe Vocabria (cabotegravir) and Edurant (rilpivirine) oral tablets for up to 2 months to replace your missed Cabenuva injections.

If you need help remembering your appointments, try setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.

Below are some frequently asked questions about Cabenuva.

Is the dosage of Cabenuva similar to the dosage of Apretude?

Yes, the forms and how frequently each medication is given are similar. Cabenuva and Apretude (cabotegravir) come as an intramuscular injection. And like Cabenuva, Apretude can be given once monthly or once every 2 months.

However, the dose in milligrams (mg) for each medication is different because Cabenuva is a combination drug. Its active ingredients are cabotegravir and rilpivirine. Apretude’s active ingredient is cabotegravir alone. In addition, Cabenuva and Apretude have different approved uses. Cabenuva is prescribed to treat HIV and Apretude is prescribed to help prevent it.

To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.

How long does it take for Cabenuva to start working?

Cabenuva starts to work after your first dose. Because of how the drug works, you likely won’t feel the drug working in your body. But your doctor will monitor you during treatment to check whether the drug is working to treat your condition.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about what to expect with Cabenuva treatment.

Is there a typical dosage range for Cabenuva?

Yes, the typical dosage range is 400 mg cabotegravir/600 mg rilpivirine once per month or 600 mg cabotegravir/900 mg rilpivirine once every other month.

For both dosing schedules, your doctor will prescribe a higher dose when you first start Cabenuva. For details about this, see the “Cabenuva dosage” section above. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

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

As with any drug, never change your dosage of Cabenuva without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Cabenuva that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.

Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Cabenuva. 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.