Generic Name: ritonavir (ri-TOE-na-vir)
Brand Name: Norvir
Use of ritonavir solution along with certain other medicines (eg, certain antiarrhythmics, certain sleep medicines, ergot medicines) may cause severe and possibly life-threatening side effects. Inform your doctor and pharmacist of all prescription and over-the-counter medicine that you are taking before taking ritonavir solution.
Ritonavir solution is used for:
Treating HIV in combination with other medicines.
Ritonavir solution is an HIV protease inhibitor. It works by blocking the growth of HIV.
Do NOT use ritonavir solution if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in ritonavir solution
- you are taking alfuzosin, amiodarone, avanafil, cisapride, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, flecainide, lovastatin, meperidine, methylergonovine, oral midazolam, pimozide, propafenone, quinidine, rivaroxaban, salmeterol, simeprevir, simvastatin, St. John's wort, or triazolam
- you are taking sildenafil to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)
- you are taking colchicine and also have kidney or liver problems
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using ritonavir solution:
Some medical conditions may interact with ritonavir solution. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have diabetes or high blood sugar, liver problems (eg, hepatitis B or C), abnormal liver function tests, hemophilia, high cholesterol or triglyceride levels, or a history of pancreatitis
- if you have a history of heart problems (eg, heart failure, irregular heartbeat) or heart blood vessel problems
- if you have a history of alcohol abuse
- if you take metronidazole or disulfiram
- if you take another HIV protease inhibitor (eg, atazanavir, tipranavir)
- if you take voriconazole. Certain doses of ritonavir solution should not be taken with voriconazole
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with ritonavir solution. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Many prescription and nonprescription medicines (eg, used for infections, HIV, inflammation, allergic reactions, breathing problems, pain, birth control, blood circulation problems, blood thinning, cancer, diabetes, drug or other substance abuse or dependence, glaucoma or increased eye pressure, gout, high blood iron levels, irregular heartbeat or other heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, immune system suppression, nausea and vomiting, overactive bladder, PAH, seizures, sleep disorders, depression or other mood or mental problems), multivitamin products, and herbal or dietary supplements (eg, St. John's wort) because they may interact with ritonavir solution. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines might interact with ritonavir solution.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if ritonavir solution may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use ritonavir solution:
Use ritonavir solution as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with ritonavir solution. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- Take ritonavir solution by mouth with meals.
- Shake well before each use.
- Use a measuring device marked for medicine dosing. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure of how to measure your dose.
- To improve the taste of ritonavir solution, you may mix it with 8 ounces (240 milliliters) of certain liquids (eg, chocolate milk, Ensure, or Advera) as directed in the patient leaflet. If you mix ritonavir solution with these fluids, be sure to take it within 1 hour of mixing. As your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you have any questions about this information.
- Continue to take ritonavir solution even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- If you miss a dose of ritonavir solution, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. It is important not to miss doses of ritonavir solution. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use ritonavir solution.
Important safety information:
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take ritonavir solution before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Do not change your dose or stop taking ritonavir solution without checking with your doctor.
- Ritonavir solution does not stop the spread of HIV to others through blood or sexual contact. Use barrier methods of birth control (eg, condoms) if you have HIV infection. Do not share needles, injection supplies, or items like toothbrushes or razors.
- Ritonavir solution may improve immune system function. This may reveal hidden infections in some patients. Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms of infection (eg, fever, sore throat, weakness, cough, shortness of breath) after you start ritonavir solution.
- Ritonavir solution is not a cure for HIV infection. Patients may still get illnesses and infections associated with HIV. Remain under the care of your doctor.
- When your medicine supply is low, get more from your doctor or pharmacist as soon as you can. Do not stop taking ritonavir solution, even for a short period of time. If you do, the virus may grow resistant to the medicine and become harder to treat.
- Changes in body fat (eg, an increased amount of fat in the upper back, neck, breast, and trunk, and loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face) may occur in some patients taking ritonavir solution. The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss any concerns with your doctor.
- Patients taking certain medicines for erectile dysfunction (eg, sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil) may experience low blood pressure, prolonged erections, and vision changes while taking ritonavir solution. Talk to your doctor before taking these medicines with ritonavir solution.
- A severe skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause serious health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
- Serious and sometimes fatal liver problems have happened with ritonavir solution. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, pale stools, persistent loss of appetite, right-sided stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes).
- Serious and sometimes fatal pancreas problems (pancreatitis) have happened with ritonavir solution. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of pancreatitis (eg, severe stomach or back pain, with or without nausea or vomiting).
- Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using ritonavir solution. To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms).
- Ritonavir solution may raise your blood sugar. High blood sugar may make you feel confused, drowsy, or thirsty. It can also make you flush, breathe faster, or have fruit-like breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away.
- Diabetes patients - Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Hemophilia patients - Some people with hemophilia have developed increased bleeding while taking protease inhibitors, such as ritonavir solution. Report all bleeding episodes to your doctor.
- Lab tests may be performed while you use ritonavir solution. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- If your child is taking ritonavir solution, the dose may need to be changed as your child's weight changes. Have your child's weight checked often. Talk with the doctor before changing your child's dose.
- Ritonavir solution has alcohol and propylene glycol in it. Preterm NEWBORNS may be at increased risk of serious and sometimes fatal side effects caused by propylene glycol. If you have questions, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
- Ritonavir solution should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 6 months old. Talk with the doctor.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using ritonavir solution while you are pregnant. Mothers infected with HIV should not breast-feed. There is a risk of passing the HIV infection or ritonavir solution to the baby.
Possible side effects of ritonavir solution:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Abnormal skin sensations, especially around the mouth, fingers, and toes; diarrhea; headache; loss of appetite; mild stomach pain; nausea; taste changes; tiredness; vomiting; weakness.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest or throat; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); chest, jaw, or arm pain; decreased urination; dizziness or light-headedness; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; flushed face; loss of consciousness; mental or mood changes (eg, depression); muscle or joint pain; seizures; shortness of breath; sudden, severe nausea or vomiting; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual sweating; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision changes; wheezing.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of ritonavir solution:
Store ritonavir solution in the original container at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not refrigerate. Keep ritonavir solution out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about ritonavir solution, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Ritonavir solution is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take ritonavir solution or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about ritonavir solution. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to ritonavir solution. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using ritonavir solution.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More about ritonavir
- Other brands: Norvir