What is this medicine?
RITONAVIR (ri TOE na 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): Norvir
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- high cholesterol or triglycerides
- liver disease
- an unusual or allergic reaction to ritonavir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
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 your medicine 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.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 1 month old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
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:
- certain medicines for irregular heart beat like amiodarone, bepridil, dofetilide, dronedarone, flecainide, propafenone, quinidine
- ergot alkaloids like dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine
- red yeast rice
- St. John's wort
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections
- certain medicines for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat like digoxin, disopyramide, lidocaine, mexiletine, metoprolol, timolol
- certain medicines for cancer like abemaciclib, dasatinib, encorafenib, ibrutinib, ivosidenib, neratinib, nilotinib, venetoclax, vinblastine, vincristine
- certain medicines for cholesterol like atorvastatin, rosuvastatin
- certain medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances like amitriptyline, bupropion, desipramine, fluoxetine, nefazodone, nortriptyline, paroxetine, perphenazine, quetiapine, risperidone, thioridazine, trazodone
- certain medicines for erectile dysfunction like avanafil, sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil
- certain medicines for fungal infections like fluconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole
- certain medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, clonazepam, ethosuximide, divalproex, lamotrigine, phenytoin
- certain medicines for sleep like buspirone, clorazepate, diazepam, estazolam, flurazepam, zolpidem
- certain medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin, rivaroxaban
- narcotic medicines for pain
- other antivirals for HIV
- steroid medicines like betamethasone, budesonide, ciclesonide, dexamethasone, fluticasone, methylprednisolone, mometasone, prednisolone, triamcinolone
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.
Some products may contain alcohol. Ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider if this medicine contains alcohol. Be sure to tell all healthcare providers you are taking this medicine. Certain medicines, like metronidazole and disulfiram, can cause an unpleasant reaction when taken with alcohol. The reaction includes flushing, headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and increased thirst. The reaction can last from 30 minutes to several hours.
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
- nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- 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
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- decreased appetite
- tingling or numbness in the hands or feet or around the mouth
- unusually weak or tired
- 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 this medicine in the refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). You may store this medicine at room temperature, below 25 degrees C (77 degrees F) if you use it all within 30 days. Protect from light and high heat. 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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