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Introduction into Lopinavir and Ritonavir

Brand Name(s): Kaletra

Generic Name Lopinavir and Ritonavir

What are lopinavir; ritonavir capsules?

LOPINAVIR; RITONAVIR (Kaletra™) are antiviral drugs called protease inhibitors. Lopinavir; ritonavir is used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Lopinavir; ritonavir may reduce the amount of HIV in the blood and increase the number of CD4 cells (T-cells) in the blood. Lopinavir; ritonavir is used in combination with other drugs used to treat the HIV virus. Lopinavir; ritonavir will not cure or prevent HIV infection or AIDS. You may still develop other infections or conditions associated with HIV. Generic lopinavir; ritonavir capsules are not available.

What should my health care professional know before I take lopinavir; ritonavir?

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

  • diabetes mellitus or high blood sugar
  • hemophilia
  • high cholesterol levels
  • high triglyceride levels
  • liver disease, including hepatitis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to lopinavir, ritonavir, castor oil, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • breast-feeding
  • pregnancy or recent attempts to get pregnant

How should I take this medicine?

Take lopinavir; ritonavir capsules by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label exactly. Take the capsules with meals or food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

To help to make sure that your therapy works as well as possible, be very careful to take all of your medicine exactly as prescribed. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber's advice.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. Lopinavir; ritonavir may be given to children and infants greater than 6 months of age.

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 drug(s) may interact with lopinavir; ritonavir?

Many medicines may interact with lopinavir; ritonavir, if you have a question concerning other medicines you may be taking, talk with your pharmacist, prescriber or other health care professional.

Do not take lopinavir; ritonavir with any of these medicines:

  • alfuzosin (UroXatral®)
  • amiodarone (Cordarone®)
  • astemizole (Hismanal®)
  • bepridil (Vascor®)
  • cisapride (Propulsid®)
  • dofetilide (Tykosin®)
  • ergotamine medicines (Cafergot®, Migranal®, D.H.E. 45®, and others)
  • lovastatin (Mevacor®)
  • midazolam (Versed®)
  • pimozide (Orap®)
  • quinidine (Quinaglute®, Cardioquin®, Quinidex®, and others)
  • simvastatin (Zocor®)
  • St. John's wort or products containing St. John's Wort
  • terfenadine (Seldane®)
  • triazolam (Halcion®)
  • went yeast (Cholestin™)
  • zolpidem (Ambien®)

Other medicines that may interact with lopinavir; ritonavir:

  • atovaquone
  • birth control pills or other hormonal birth control medicines (like the patch, ring, or injections)
  • bosentan
  • certain medicines for anxiety or difficulty sleeping
  • certain medicines for fungal infections
  • certain medicines for high cholesterol (e.g., atorvastatin or cerivastatin)
  • certain medicines for high blood pressure
  • certain pain medicines
  • medicines for seizures
  • medicines for depression
  • medicines for diabetes
  • other antiviral medicines such as didanosine, ddI, saquinavir, or zidovudine
  • clarithromycin
  • cyclosporine
  • erythromycin
  • imatinib, STI-571
  • rifabutin
  • rifampin
  • rifapentine
  • theophylline
  • sildenafil
  • warfarin

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects might I notice from taking lopinavir; ritonavir?

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

  • abdominal pain
  • increases in your blood sugar
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • signs of a severe allergic reaction including difficulty breathing, tightness in throat, or swelling of your tongue
  • skin rash, hives
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

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

  • abnormal bowel movements
  • changes in taste
  • changes in body fat
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty sleeping
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • heartburn
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea, vomiting
  • tingling or numbness in the hands or feet or around the mouth
  • tiredness or weakness

What should I watch for while taking lopinavir; ritonavir?

You must visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Lopinavir; ritonavir will not cure HIV infection, and you can still get other illnesses associated with HIV.

Lopinavir; ritonavir may cause abnormal liver function tests, changes in your cholesterol or triglyceride levels, and may increase the level of your blood sugar. Visit your health care professional or prescriber regularly to check for any of these side effects. Some of these effects may become serious.

Taking lopinavir; ritonavir does not reduce the risk of passing HIV infection to others through sexual or blood contact. It is best to avoid sexual contact so that you do not spread the disease to others. For any sexual contact, use a condom. Be careful about cuts, abrasions, and other possible sources of blood contact. Never share a needle or syringe with anyone.

If you are a woman of childbearing age and are using hormone contraceptives, then you should use another form of birth control while taking lopinavir; ritonavir. Lopinavir; ritonavir may decrease the effectiveness of hormone birth control agents, including birth control pills and injections. Do not breast-feed your infant if you have HIV.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

Store the capsules in the refrigerator. You do not need to keep them in the refrigerator if you use them all within 2 months and keep them below 77 °F. Do not expose the capsules to very hot or cold temperatures. Keep the container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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