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. It will not stop the spread of HIV to others.
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. Shake well before using. Use a specially marked spoon or dropper to measure each dose. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. You can mix the dose with chocolate milk, Ensure, or Advera to make it taste better. Take the medicine within 1 hour if you mix it with these items. Throw it away if you cannot take it within 1 hour. 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.
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
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
increased hunger or thirst
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
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
medicines for irregular heart beat like amiodarone, bepridil, dofetilide, encainide, flecainide, propafenone, quinidine
medicines for headaches 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
medicines for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
medicines for cholesterol like atorvastatin
medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
medicines for erectile dysfunction
medicines for seizures
medicines for sleep
other medicines for HIV
steroid medicines like dexamethasone, fluticasone, prednisone
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.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Do not refrigerate. Keep in the original container. Protect from heat and light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
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
an unusual or allergic reaction to ritonavir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional 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 affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.