What is Aptivus?Aptivus is a medicine called a "protease inhibitor" that is used to treat adults with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Aptivus blocks HIV protease, an enzyme which is needed for HIV to make more of the virus. Aptivus is always taken with Norvir (ritonavir).
Aptivus does not cure HIV or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It also does not reduce the chance of passing HIV to others through sexual contact, sharing needles, or being exposed to your blood.
What is the most important information I should know about Aptivus?People taking Aptivus together with 200 milligrams (mg) of Norvir (ritonavir) may develop bleeding in the brain that may cause death.
People taking Aptivus together with 200 mg Norvir (ritonavir) may develop severe liver disease that may cause death. If you develop any of the following symptoms of liver problems, you should stop taking Aptivus/ritonavir treatment and call your doctor right away: tiredness, general ill feeling or "flu-like" symptoms, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, dark urine, pale stools, or pain, ache, or sensitivity on your right side below your ribs. If you have chronic hepatitis B or C infection, your doctor should check your blood tests more often because you have an increased risk of developing liver problems.
You should report any unusual bleeding to your doctor if you are taking Aptivus together with ritonavir.
Who should not take Aptivus?Do not take Aptivus if you have liver problems, or if you are allergic to any of its, or Norvir's, ingredients.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Aptivus?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Aptivus, especially if you are taking any medicine that increases your chance of bleeding, oral contraceptives, or hormone therapy. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver problems, hemophilia, diabetes, or you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or nursing.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The usual dose is 500 mg (two 250-mg capsules) of Aptivus, together with 200 mg (two 100-mg capsules or 2.5 milliliters [mL] of solution) of Norvir, twice per day. Aptivus with Norvir must be used together with other anti-HIV medicines.
Children age 2 years or older: Children can take Aptivus with Norvir. The child's doctor will decide the right dose based on the child's weight or size. The dose should not be more than the recommended adult dose.
How should I take Aptivus?Take Aptivus exactly as your doctor prescribed. You must take Aptivus at the same time with Norvir. Aptivus with Norvir must be taken with other anti-HIV medicines, Swallow the capsules whole; do not crush or chew capsules. You can take Aptivus with Norvir with or without food at the same time each day. If you begin to run low on Aptivus, contact your pharmacist immediately.
What should I avoid while taking Aptivus?Avoid running out of Aptivus. When you are low, call your pharmacist for a refill to be sure you do not run out and skip a dose. Skipping a dose may cause the levels of HIV in your system to rise.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Aptivus?If Aptivus is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Aptivus with the following: amiodarone, astemizole, bepridil, cisapride, ergot alkaloids (migraine medication), flecainide, fluticasone, lovastatin, midazolam, oral contraceptives, pimozide, propafenone, quinidine, terfenadine, triazolam, rifampin (may reduce virologic activity and possible resistance to Aptivus or to the class of protease inhibitors), sildenafil, vardenafil, or tadalafil, simvastatin, St. John's wort (may reduce virologic activity and possible resistance to Aptivus or to the class of protease inhibitors), and Vitamin E (if you are taking Aptivus oral solution).
What are the possible side effects of Aptivus?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: bleeding in the brain, changes in body fat, diabetes and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), diarrhea, fever, headache, increased blood fat (lipid) levels, increased hemophilia, liver problems, nausea, relocation of fat, skin rash in children or women taking oral contraceptives, stomach pain, tiredness, vomiting
Can I receive Aptivus if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing. The effects of Aptivus on pregnancy are unknown; you should not breastfeed your child while on Aptivus. This drug may pass through your breast milk, and it is also possible to pass HIV to your child via breast milk.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Aptivus?If you forget to take Aptivus, take the next dose together with Norvir (ritonavir), as soon as possible. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
How should I store Aptivus?Store Aptivus capsules in a refrigerator. Store Aptivus oral solution at room temperature. Do not refrigerate or freeze Aptivus oral solution. Once Aptivus is opened, the contents of the bottle must be used within 60 days.