What is this medicine?

SAQUINAVIR (sa KWIN a veer) is an antiretroviral medicine. It is used with other medicines to treat HIV. This medicine is not a cure for HIV. This medicine can lower, but not fully prevent, the risk of spreading HIV to others.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Invirase

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • hemophilia
  • history of irregular heartbeat
  • history of low levels of calcium, magnesium, or potassium in the blood
  • liver disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to saquinavir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine with food. Take this medicine with ritonavir at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. For your anti-HIV therapy to work as well as possible, take each dose exactly as prescribed. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine even if you feel better. Skipping doses may make the HIV virus resistant to this medicine and other medicines. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • alfuzosin
  • atazanavir
  • certain medicines for cholesterol like lovastatin, red yeast rice, simvastatin
  • chloroquine
  • cisapride
  • clarithromycin
  • clozapine
  • cobicistat
  • dasatinib
  • droperidol
  • erythromycin
  • garlic supplements
  • haloperidol
  • lurasidone
  • medicines for headaches like dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine
  • medicines for irregular heart beat like amiodarone, bepridil, disopyramide, flecainide, ibutilide, lidocaine, propafenone, quinidine
  • methadone
  • midazolam
  • naloxegol
  • pentamidine
  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, perphenazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine, trifluoperazine
  • pimozide
  • quinine
  • ranolazine
  • rifampin
  • rilpivirine
  • sertindole
  • sildenafil
  • St. John's wort
  • sunitinib
  • tacrolimus
  • trazodone
  • triazolam

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alfentanil
  • atorvastatin
  • arsenic trioxide
  • bosentan
  • certain medicines for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat like amlodipine, digoxin, diltiazem, felodipine, ibutilide, isradipine, nifedipine, nicardipine, nimodipine, nisoldipine, procainamide, sotalol, verapamil
  • colchicine
  • cyclosporine
  • corticosteroids like betamethasone, budesonide, ciclesonide, dexamethasone, fluticasone, methylprednisolone, prednisone, triamcinolone
  • dofetilide
  • female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections
  • fentanyl
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances like alprazolam, amitriptyline, clomipramine, clorazepate, diazepam, flurazepam, imipramine, maprotiline, nefazodone, quetiapine
  • medicines for diabetes medicines for erectile dysfunction like tadalafil and vardenafil
  • medicines for infections like dapsone, fusidic acid, ketoconazole, itraconazole, quinupristin; dalfopristin, rifabutin, rifapentine
  • medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
  • medicines for stomach problems like esomeprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole, rabeprazole, ranitidine
  • other medicines for HIV like delavirdine, efavirenz, maraviroc, nelfinavir, nevirapine, indinavir, lopinavir; ritonavir, tipranavir
  • sirolimus
  • vincamine
  • warfarin
  • ziprasidone

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care provider for regular check ups. Discuss any new symptoms with your doctor. You will need to have important blood work done while on this medicine.

HIV is spread to others through sexual or blood contact. Talk to your doctor about how to stop the spread of HIV.

Birth control pills may not work properly while you are taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor about using an extra method of birth control. Women who can still have children must use a reliable form of barrier contraception, like a condom or diaphragm.

This medicine may increase blood sugar. Ask your healthcare provider if changes in diet or medicines are needed if you have diabetes.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • signs and symptoms of high blood sugar such as being more thirsty or hungry or having to urinate more than normal. You may also feel very tired or have blurry vision
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea
  • nausea, vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • weight gain around waist, back, or thinning of face, arms, legs

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store tightly closed at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from moisture. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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