Cabotegravir: The first long-acting injectable for HIV preexposure prophylaxis


OBJECTIVE: Review the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, efficacy, safety, and role of long-acting injectable cabotegravir (CAB-LA) in HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). DATA SOURCES: A literature search was performed using PubMed and Google Scholar (2012 to April 2022) with the search terms cabotegravir, preexposure prophylaxis, and PrEP. Other resources included abstracts presented at recent conferences, the manufacturer’s Web site, prescribing information, and review articles. STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: All English-language articles of studies assessing the efficacy and safety of CAB-LA for PrEP were included. DATA SYNTHESIS: CAB-LA is the first long-acting injectable therapy approved for HIV-1 PrEP in both men and women. It is a suspension given intramuscularly every other month. CAB-LA has been shown to be more effective than daily oral tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) in preventing HIV-1 infection among high-risk individuals. Two phase 3 trials were stopped early on the basis of superior efficacy of CAB-LA. The most common adverse effects were injection site reactions (ISRs), although they tended to decrease over time, and few participants in clinical trials discontinued use due to ISRs. RELEVANCE TO PATIENT CARE AND CLINICAL PRACTICE: CAB-LA may be particularly useful for individuals with known adherence problems to oral therapy, those with renal impairment, and those with decreased bone mineral density. However, CAB-LA is more expensive than generic TDF/FTC and may be associated with weight gain. CONCLUSIONS: CAB-LA is the first long-acting injectable agent for HIV PrEP. It is more effective than oral TDF/FTC, is well-tolerated aside from ISRs, and has few clinically significant drug-drug interactions.


Durham SH, Milam A, Waer D, Chahine EB




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions


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