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Drugs reference index «Ritonavir»


Generic Name: Ritonavir (rit-OH-na-vir)Brand Name: Norvir

Use of ritonavir with certain nonsedating antihistamines (eg, astemizole, terfenadine), sedatives and tranquilizers (eg, midazolam, triazolam), heart medicines (antiarrhythmics such as bepridil, flecainide, propafenone, quinidine), or ergot-containing medicines may cause severe, even fatal, side effects. Tell your doctor if you use any of these types of medicines before taking ritonavir.

Ritonavir is used for:

Treating HIV in combination with other medicines.

Ritonavir is an HIV protease inhibitor. It works by blocking the growth of HIV.

Do NOT use Ritonavir if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Ritonavir
  • you are taking alfuzosin, amiodarone, astemizole, bepridil, cisapride, dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, flecainide, fluticasone, lovastatin, methylergonovine, midazolam, pimozide, propafenone, quinidine, simvastatin, St. John's wort, terfenadine, triazolam, or voriconazole

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Ritonavir :

Some medical conditions may interact with Ritonavir . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines (including allergies to sulfas [eg, sulfamethoxazole], aspirin, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] [eg, ibuprofen]), foods, or other substances
  • if you have diabetes or high blood sugar, liver problems (eg, hepatitis B or C), hemophilia, high cholesterol or triglyceride levels, or a history of inflammation of the pancreas
  • if you have a history of heart problems (eg, heart failure, conduction abnormalities) or heart blood vessel problems
  • if you take another HIV protease inhibitor (eg, atazanavir, tipranavir)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Ritonavir . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • St. John's wort because it may decrease Ritonavir 's effectiveness
  • Alfuzosin, amiodarone, astemizole, bepridil, cisapride, dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, flecainide, fluticasone, lovastatin, methylergonovine, midazolam, pimozide, propafenone, quinidine, simvastatin, terfenadine, or triazolam because the risk of side effects, including irregular heartbeat, severe drowsiness, trouble breathing, or muscle problems, may be increased
  • Rifampin because it may decrease Ritonavir 's effectiveness
  • Voriconazole because its effectiveness may be decreased by Ritonavir
  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines (eg, used for infections, HIV, inflammation, allergic reactions, breathing problems, pain, birth control, blood thinning, cancer, irregular heartbeat, other heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, immune suppression, erectile dysfunction, seizures, sleep disorders, depression, other mood or mental problems), multivitamin products, and herbal or dietary supplements (eg, herbal teas, coenzyme Q10, garlic, ginseng, ginkgo, St. John's wort) may interact with Ritonavir , increasing the risk of their side effects

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Ritonavir may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Ritonavir :

Use Ritonavir as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Ritonavir . Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Take Ritonavir by mouth with food.
  • Continue to take Ritonavir even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Ritonavir , take it as soon as you remember. If it is within 2 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. It is important not to miss doses of Ritonavir . Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Ritonavir .

Important safety information:

  • Ritonavir may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Ritonavir with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Ritonavir does not stop the spread of HIV to others through blood or sexual contact. Use barrier methods of birth control (eg, condoms) if you have HIV infection. Do not share needles, injection supplies, or items like toothbrushes or razors.
  • Ritonavir is not a cure for HIV infection. Patients may still get illnesses and infections associated with HIV. Remain under the care of your doctor.
  • When your medicine supply is low, get more from your doctor or pharmacist as soon as you can. Do not stop taking Ritonavir , even for a short period of time. If you do, the virus may grow resistant to the medicine and become harder to treat.
  • Changes in body fat (eg, an increased amount of fat in the upper back, neck, breast, and trunk, and loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face) may occur in some patients taking Ritonavir . The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss any concerns with your doctor.
  • Patients taking sildenafil may experience low blood pressure, prolonged erections, and vision changes while taking Ritonavir . Talk to your doctor before taking sildenafil with Ritonavir .
  • Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using Ritonavir . To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms).
  • Diabetes patients - Ritonavir may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Lab tests, including liver function and blood cholesterol, may be performed while you use Ritonavir . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Ritonavir with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Ritonavir should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 1 month old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Ritonavir while you are pregnant. Mothers infected with HIV should not breast-feed. There is a risk of passing the HIV infection or Ritonavir to the baby.

Possible side effects of Ritonavir :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Abnormal skin sensations around the mouth, fingers, and toes; changes in body fat; diarrhea; headache; nausea; stomach pain; taste changes; vomiting; weakness; weight loss.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); dark urine; fainting; fever, chills, or sore throat; flushed face; gradual onset of drowsiness; increased blood sugar (excessive hunger, thirst, urination); inflammation of the pancreas (nausea; severe stomach pain; vomiting); irregular heartbeat; loss of appetite; loss of consciousness; pale stools; severe or persistent dizziness or lightheadedness; thirst; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include change in the amount of urine; numbness or tingling in the arms, hands, legs, or feet.

Proper storage of Ritonavir :

Store Ritonavir in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Do not freeze. Ritonavir may be stored at room temperature, below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C), if it is used within 30 days. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Ritonavir out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Ritonavir , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Ritonavir is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Ritonavir . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

  • Ritonavir Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Ritonavir Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
  • ritonavir Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Norvir Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Norvir Consumer Overview

See Also...

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