Generic Name: Ritonavir

  • What is Norvir?

    Norvir is in a class of medicines called protease inhibitors. Norvir is used in combination with other medicines to treat people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (or AIDS).

  • What is the most important information I should know about Norvir?

    Norvir is not a cure for AIDS or HIV infection. You may continue to experience symptoms and develop complications, including infections such as pneumonia and herpes virus infections.

    Norvir does not reduce the risk of passing HIV to others through sexual contact or blood contamination. You should continue to practice safe sex and do not use or share dirty needles.

    When your Norvir supply starts to run low, get more from your doctor or pharmacy. This is very important because the amount of virus in your blood may increase if the medicine is stopped for even a short time. The virus may develop resistance to Norvir and become harder to treat.

  • Who should not take Norvir?

    Do not take Norvir with the following medications: alfuzosin hydrochloride, amiodarone, bepridil, cisapride, dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, flecainide, lovastatin, methylergonovine, oral midazolam, pimozide, propafenone, quinidine, sildenafil, simvastatin, St. John's wort, triazolam, and voriconazole.

    Do not take Norvir if you have had a serious allergic reaction to Norvir or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Norvir?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Norvir. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have diabetes (high blood sugar), hemophilia (a bleeding disorder), liver problems, and if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • 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 recommended dose of Norvir is 600 milligrams (mg) twice a day with food.

    Should you experience nausea when first starting on Norvir, your doctor may lower your starting dose to 300 mg twice a day and increase it at 2-3 day intervals by 100 mg twice a day.

    Children ≥1 month: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child based on their body weight.

  • How should I take Norvir?

    You should stay under a doctor's care when taking Norvir. Do not change or stop your treatment without first talking with your doctor. It is very important that you take Norvir every day exactly as your doctor prescribed it.

    Norvir tablets should be swallowed whole, and not chewed, broken, or crushed. Take Norvir with food or meals.

    If you are taking Norvir oral solution, shake it well before each use. Use a special spoon or dosing syringe to measure each dose of the oral solution accurately. A household teaspoon may not hold the correct amount of oral solution. If you want to improve the taste, you can mix the liquid with 8 ounces of chocolate milk, Ensure, or Advera. Take this combination no later than an hour after mixing Norvir oral solution with these items.

    Talk with your doctor if you take or plan to take Flagyl (metronidazole) or Antabuse (disulfiram) with Norvir oral solution. You can have severe nausea and vomiting if you take these medicines with Norvir.

  • What should I avoid while taking Norvir?

    Avoid having unprotected sex (without a condom) or sharing intravenous needles with another person. Norvir will not cure HIV or AIDS, and you can still transmit the virus to others.

    Do not change or stop taking Norvir without talking to your doctor first. Do not share this medication with anyone else.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Norvir?

    If Norvir is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Norvir may interact with numerous other medications. Be sure to tell your doctor about all other medications you are taking before taking Norvir. Your doctor will determine if any of your other medications will result in a drug interaction with Norvir.

  • What are the possible side effects of Norvir?

    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: feeling weak/tired, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, changes in taste, tingling feeling or numbness in the hands/feet or around the lips, headache, dizziness

  • Can I receive Norvir if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Norvir during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.

    You should not breastfeed while you are using Norvir. Women with HIV or AIDS should not breastfeed at all. Even if your baby is born without HIV, you may still pass the virus to the baby in your breast milk.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Norvir?

    If you miss a dose of Norvir, take it as soon as possible, and then take your next scheduled dose at its regular time. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait and take it at the regular time. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Norvir?

    Capsules are best kept in the refrigerator, although they do not require refrigeration if used within 30 days and stored at room temperature. Protect from excessive heat or cold.

    Store Norvir tablets at room temperature.

    Store Norvir oral solution at room temperature. Do not refrigerate. Shake it before each use.

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I'm Kristen Dore, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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