Chemical Name: SAQUINAVIR (sa-KWIN-a-veer)
This medicine is an HIV protease inhibitor used in combination with other medicines to manage human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Some medicines or medical conditions may interact with this medicine. INFORM YOUR DOCTOR OR PHARMACIST of all prescription and over-the-counter medicine that you are taking. DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE if you are also taking cisapride, ergot alkaloids and derivatives (e.g., ergotamine), cholesterol-lowering drugs (e.g., statins such as simvastatin, lovastatin, atorvastatin, cerivastatin), nevirapine, rifamycins (e.g., rifabutin, rifampin), astemizole, St. John's wort, terfenadine, or medicine for anxiety or sleep disorders (e.g., benzodiazepines such as triazolam, midazolam). ADDITIONAL MONITORING OF YOUR DOSE OR CONDITION may be needed if you are taking anticoagulants, anti-diabetic medications, phenobarbital, phenytoin, dexamethasone, carbamazepine, calcium channel blockers (e.g., diltiazem, nifedipine), clindamycin, dapsone, quinidine, nelfinavir, indinavir, ritonavir, delavirdine, nevirapine, clarithromycin, ketoconazole, birth control pills, garlic supplements, sildenafil, sirolimus, or tacrolimus. Inform your doctor of any other medical conditions, allergies, pregnancy, or breast-feeding. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about taking this medicine.
Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. This medicine may come with a patient information leaflet. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions you may have about this medicine. SWALLOW WHOLE. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing. TAKE THIS MEDICINE WITHIN 2 hours of a full meal or large snack. Take this medicine with grapefruit juice only if your doctor has instructed you to do so. STORE THIS MEDICINE at room temperature in a tightly-closed container, away from heat and light. IF YOU MISS A DOSE OF THIS MEDICINE, 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 this medicine. DO NOT TAKE 2 doses at once.
KEEP ALL DOCTOR AND LABORATORY APPOINTMENTS while you are using this medicine. DO NOT EXCEED THE RECOMMENDED DOSE without checking with your doctor. THIS MEDICINE WILL NOT PREVENT you from spreading HIV. If you have any questions concerning how to prevent the spreading of HIV, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. This medicine will not prevent other infections. If your health changes, check with your doctor. BEFORE YOU BEGIN TAKING ANY NEW MEDICINE, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. DO NOT TAKE Seldane (terfenadine) or Hismanal (astemizole) while taking this medicine. FOR HEMOPHILIACS: Report all bleeding episodes to your doctor. FOR WOMEN TAKING BIRTH CONTROL PILLS, this medicine may decrease the effectiveness of your birth control pill. To prevent pregnancy, use an additional form of birth control. IT IS UNKNOWN IF THIS DRUG IS EXCRETED in breast milk. DO NOT BREAST-FEED while taking this medicine. IF YOU HAVE DIABETES, this medicine may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine.
Possible side effects
SIDE EFFECTS, that may go away during treatment, include diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, or weakness. If they continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor. CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you experience gradual onset of drowsiness, flushed face, thirst, loss of appetite, or increased urination. Changes in body fat may occur while you are taking this medicine (e.g., increased fat in the upper back and stomach areas, decreased fat in the arms and legs). The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss the risks and benefits of therapy with your doctor, as well as the possible role of exercise to reduce this side effect. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
If you take too much
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include pain in the throat.
DO NOT SHARE THIS MEDICINE with others for whom it was not prescribed. DO NOT USE THIS MEDICINE for other health conditions. KEEP THIS MEDICINE out of the reach of children. IF USING THIS MEDICINE FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, obtain refills before your supply runs out.