Ritonavir (By mouth)
Antiretroviral Agent (About this – PubMed Health)
Uses of This Medicine
Ritonavir is used alone or in combination with other medicines for the treatment of the infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Ritonavir will not cure HIV infection or prevent AIDS. It helps keep HIV from reproducing and appears to slow down the destruction of the immune system. This may help delay problems that are usually related to AIDS or HIV disease from occurring. Ritonavir will not keep you from spreading HIV to other people. People who receive this medicine may continue to have other problems related to AIDS or HIV disease.
This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription.
Other uses (PubMed Health)
How To Use
Liquid Filled Capsule, Liquid, Tablet
Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
Capsule or Tablet: Swallow whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
Oral liquid: Shake well just before each use. Measure the medicine with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup. You may mix the oral liquid with chocolate milk or nutritional drinks to make it taste better. Drink this medicine within 1 hour of mixing.
Do not stop using this medicine without checking first with your doctor. If you stop the medicine, even briefly, the virus may become harder to treat. Contact your doctor or pharmacist when your supply is running low so you do not run out.
Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
Capsules: Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature in a closed container. If stored at room temperature, use the medicine within 30 days. Keep away from heat and direct light.
Liquid or tablets: Store in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not refrigerate.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Do not use this medicine if you are also using alfuzosin, amiodarone, cisapride, flecainide, lovastatin, oral midazolam, pimozide, propafenone, quinidine, sildenafil, simvastatin, triazolam, voriconazole, St John’s wort, or ergot medicines (including dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, methylergonovine).
Many other drugs can interact with ritonavir. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.
When Not To Use
This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to ritonavir.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you have kidney disease, liver disease (including hepatitis), diabetes, heart disease, heart rhythm problems (such as PR prolongation), high cholesterol, or hemophilia.
Do not breastfeed. You can spread HIV or AIDS to your baby through your breast milk.
This medicine may cause the following problems:Liver problems Pancreatitis Changes in heart rhythm, such as PR prolongation High cholesterol or triglycerides High blood sugar levels, a problem that could become permanent
Your immune system may get stronger when you start taking an HIV medicine. Infections that were hidden in your body, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis, might start to have symptoms. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your health.
This medicine will not keep you from giving HIV to others. Always practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Do not share needles or other items that may have blood or body fluids on them.
The liquid form of this medicine contains alcohol.
Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible side effects
Summary More details
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
Fainting, dizziness, lightheadedness
Fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat; chest pain
Increased hunger or thirst, change in how much or how often you urinate, unusual weight loss
Sudden and severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
Diarrhea, stomach pain, upset stomach
Numbness or tingling
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More side effects of this drug
Brand names include
There may be other brand names for this medicine.