| Norvir |
This medication belongs to a class of drugs called protease inhibitors and is used, either alone or in combination with other drugs, to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
- This medication does not cure HIV.
- Patients treated with ritonavir may continue to acquire "opportunistic" infections associated with HIV.
- This medication also does not prevent transmission of HIV to others through sexual contact or blood.
- Store at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C).
- Do not refrigerate because crystals may form and the drug will not be properly absorbed.
- Store solution in the original container and keep the cap tightly closed.
- Do not expose the medication to heat or sunlight.
- Do not store in the bathroom.
Norvir soft-gelatin capsules are
- Shake well before each dosing.
- Take twice daily by mouth with meals if possible.
- A common side effect of nausea may be decreased by increasing the dose of ritonavir gradually over 5 days.
- In patients beginning combination therapy with other HIV medications, nausea can be decreased by starting the second medication between 5 and 14 days after therapy with ritonavir has begun.
- The taste of the solution can be improved by mixing it with chocolate milk, Ensure or Advera.
- Be sure to take the mixture within 1 hour after mixing.
- Do not increase or decrease your dose Do not increase your dose unless told to do so by your doctor.
- The most common side effects are weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, altered taste, stomach pain and numbness or tingling of mouth, hands or feet.
- Less common side effects include blurred vision, dizziness, headache, loss of coordination, muscle or joint pain and drowsiness.
- Inform your doctor if these should persist or worsen.
- Inform your doctor immediately if you experience chills, a rash, rapid heart rate, increased urination, unusual thirst, unusual bleeding or bruising (blood in the urine or stool), severe stomach pain or shortness of breath.
- If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
- Before taking this drug tell your doctor of any previous illnesses, especially any liver or kidney disease, diabetes or blood disorders.
- Tobacco smoking may decrease the effects of this drug.
- Ritonavir solution contains alcohol.
- This medication should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
- Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
- It is not known if this medication appears in breast milk.
- Because breast milk can transmit HIV, do not breast-feed.
- If you should miss a dose, take it as soon as possible unless it is almost time for the next dose.
- If it is near time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule.
- Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.
- Before you take this drug, tell your doctor of all the drugs you take including prescription and nonprescription medications especially amiodarone, astemizole, bepridil, bupropion, cisapride, clozapine, encainide, flecainide, meperidine, piroxicam, propafenone, propoxyphene, quinidine, rifabutin, terfenadine, zolpidem, benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam, chlordiazepoxide, etc.), clarithromycin, rifampin, of drugs that can harm the kidneys (e.g., gentamicin, amphotericin), St John's wort, and of other protease inhibitors (e.g., saquinavir).
- Inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following drugs: birth control pills, cyclosporine, dexamethasone, dronabinol, lansoprazole, losartan, omeprazole, ondansetron, prednisone, quinine, tacrolimus, theophylline, warfarin; drugs used to treat cancer, high cholesterol, depression, diabetes (oral medication), epilepsy, heart arrhythmias, high blood pressure, (calcium channel and beta-blockers), schizophrenia and pain (narcotic analgesics and NSAIDS).
- This drug may interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills.
- Discuss using other methods of birth control with your doctor.
- Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.