What is Prezista?Prezista is used for the treatment of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection in adults. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). Prezista is a type of anti-HIV drug called a protease inhibitor. Prezista does not cure HIV or AIDS, nor does it reduce the risk of passing it on to others. It will be used with another drug called ritonavir (Norvir) to slow the progress of the disease.
What is the most important information I should know about Prezista?Prezista does not cure HIV or AIDS. Prezista does not reduce the risk of passing HIV to others through sexual contact, sharing needles, or being exposed to your blood.
In rare instances, Prezista has been observed to cause life-threatening liver problems. This may especially be true for patients with chronic hepatitis B or C infections. Your doctor may initiate blood tests prior to treatment, and periodically thereafter. Call your doctor immediately if you notice any signs of liver problems, which include yellowing of your skin, dark urine, pale colored stool, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain, aching or sensitivity on your right side below your ribs.
Skin rashes have been reported in patients taking Prezista. In rare cases, Prezista has been observed to cause a severe or life-threatening rash. Call your doctor immediately if you develop a rash.
Who should not take Prezista?Do not take Prezista if you are allergic to darunavir, or any of the other ingredients in Prezista, or to ritonavir.
See "What are possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?" below for drugs you should not take when you are taking Prezista.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Prezista?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are on to prevent a harmful interaction. Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you are allergic to sulfa medicines, or have diabetes. In general, anti-HIV medicines, such as Prezista, might increase sugar levels in the blood. Also, tell your doctor if you have liver problems or hemophilia as Prezista might increase the risk of bleeding.
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 new to HIV therapy: The recommended dose is 800 milligrams (mg) (two 400-mg tablets) of Prezista taken with 100 mg of ritonavir once daily.
Adults experienced with HIV therapy: The recommended adult dose is 600 mg (one 600-mg tablet or two 300-mg tablets) of Prezista twice daily taken with 100 mg of ritonavir twice daily.
Children ≥6 years: The recommended dose for a child weighing 44 to 65 pounds is 375 mg of Prezista with 50 mg of ritonavir each taken twice daily. The recommended dose for a child weighing 66 to 87 pounds is 450 mg of Prezista with 60 mg of ritonavir each taken twice daily. Children weighing more than 88 pounds will be dosed according to the recommendations for treatment-experienced adults.
How should I take Prezista?Take Prezista with food.
Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to. Prezista and ritonavir should be taken together at the same time. It is best to take this medicine with food or milk. Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it. If you also use didanosine (Videx), take it 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking Prezista.
What should I avoid while taking Prezista?Prezista does not reduce the risk of passing HIV to others through sexual contact, sharing needles, or being exposed to your blood. For your health and the health of others, it is important to always practice safe sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom or other barrier methods to lower the chance of sexual contact with any body fluids such as semen, vaginal secretions, or blood. Never reuse or share needles.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Prezista?If Prezista 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 Prezista with the following: alfuzosin, atorvastatin, atorvastatin/amlodipine, cisapride, colchicine, dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, lovastatin, methylergonovine, oral midazolam, pimozide, rifampin, rosuvastatin, sildenafil (when used to treat arterial pulmonary hypertension), simvastatin, St. John's wort, tadalafil, triazolam, or vardenafil.
What are the possible side effects of Prezista?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: increased bleeding in persons with hemophilia, high blood sugar, diabetes or worsening of diabetes, changes in body fat, signs of infection, diarrhea, nausea, rash, headache, stomach pain, vomiting
Can I receive Prezista if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, while taking Prezista. Also, ask your doctor about how you can be included in the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry. Do not breastfeed if you are taking Prezista. You should not breastfeed if you have HIV because of the chance of passing HIV to your baby. Talk with your doctor about the best way to feed your baby.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Prezista?Patients taking Prezista once daily: If you miss a dose of Prezista or ritonavir by more than 12 hours, wait and then take the next dose of Prezista and ritonavir at the regularly scheduled time. If you miss a dose of Prezista or ritonavir by <12 hours, take your missed dose of Prezista and ritonavir immediately. Then take your next dose of Prezista and ritonavir at the regularly scheduled time.
Patients taking Prezista twice daily: If you miss a dose of Prezista or ritonavir by >6 hours, wait and then take the next dose of Prezista and ritonavir at the regularly scheduled time. If you miss a dose of Prezista or ritonavir by <6 hours, take your missed dose of Prezista and ritonavir immediately. Then take your next dose of Prezista and ritonavir at the regularly scheduled time.
How should I store Prezista?Store at room temperature.
- Common Side Effects of AntidepressantsFind out about common and not-so-common side effects of antidepressants and how to manage them.
- How Drugs Can Lower CholesterolDiscover how cholesterol-lowering medications work in your body to bring your cholesterol numbers down to ideal levels.
- Do Over-the-Counter Proton-Pump Inhibitors Work?You might wonder why you need a prescription for GERD if many PPIs are available over the counter. Get the answers to this and other questions about OTC PPIs.