amprenavir

Generic Name: amprenavir (am PREN a veer)
Brand Name: Agenerase

What is amprenavir?

Amprenavir is an antiviral medication in a group of HIV medicines called protease (PRO-tee-ayz) inhibitors. Amprenavir prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.

Amprenavir is used to treat HIV, which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Amprenavir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.

Amprenavir may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about amprenavir?

Do not take amprenavir with cisapride (Propulsid), pimozide (Orap), midazolam (Versed), triazolam (Halcion), or an ergot medicine such as Ergomar, Cafergot, Wigraine, D.H.E. 45, Migranal, Methergine, and others. These drugs can cause life-threatening side effects if you use them while you are taking amprenavir.

Amprenavir oral liquid should also not be taken with disulfiram (Antabuse) or metronidazole (Flagyl).

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

There are many other medicines that can interact with amprenavir. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.

Taking amprenavir will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people through unprotected sex or sharing of needles. Talk with your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission during sex, such as using a condom and spermicide. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking amprenavir?

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to amprenavir or a similar drug called fosamprenavir (Lexiva). Do not take amprenavir oral liquid if you are pregnant or if you have liver or kidney disease.

Do not take amprenavir with cisapride (Propulsid), pimozide (Orap), midazolam (Versed), triazolam (Halcion), or ergot medicines such as ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal Nasal Spray), ergonovine (Ergotrate), or methylergonovine (Methergine). These drugs can cause life-threatening side effects if you use them while you are taking amprenavir.

Amprenavir oral liquid should also not be taken with disulfiram (Antabuse), metronidazole (Flagyl).

Before taking amprenavir, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • diabetes;

  • a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia; or

  • high cholesterol or triglycerides.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use amprenavir, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. HIV can be passed to the baby if the mother is not properly treated during pregnancy. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection while you are pregnant.

Taking amprenavir together with birth control pills can make the amprenavir less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking amprenavir.

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

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old.

How should I take amprenavir?

Take amprenavir exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take amprenavir with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Amprenavir can be taken with or without food. Avoid taking with a high-fat meal, which can make it harder for your body to absorb the amprenavir.

Measure the liquid form of amprenavir with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular tablespoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Do not switch from amprenavir capsules to oral liquid without your doctor's advice. Make sure you receive the right form of this medicine each time you get your prescription filled.

It is important to use amprenavir regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Store amprenavir at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember and take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time. If you are more than 4 hours late in taking your amprenavir, skip the missed dose and take the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medication, or if a child has accidentally swallowed it. An overdose of amprenavir oral liquid could be fatal to a child.

What should I avoid while taking amprenavir?

Avoid drinking alcohol while using amprenavir oral liquid, and do not take disulfiram (Antabuse) or you could have an alcohol reaction.

Taking amprenavir will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people through unprotected sex or sharing of needles. Talk with your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission during sex, such as using a condom and spermicide. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

Amprenavir side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking amprenavir and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;

  • pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, fever, confusion or weakness;

  • increased urination or extreme thirst;

  • easy bruising or bleeding;

  • signs of a new infection, such as fever or chills, cough, or flu symptoms; or

  • seizures, muscle pain and weakness, fast heart rate, numbness or cold feeling in your arms or legs (while using amprenavir oral liquid).

Keep taking the medication and talk with your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;

  • numbness or tingling, especially around your mouth;

  • headache, mood changes; or

  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Amprenavir dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for HIV Infection:

Capsules: 1200 mg orally twice a day
Oral solution: 1400 mg (93 mL) orally twice a day

Usual Pediatric Dose for HIV Infection:

Oral capsule formulation:
4 to 12 years or 13 to 16 years and less than 50 kg: 20 mg/kg orally twice a day or 15 mg/kg three times a day, not to exceed 2400 mg/day
13 to 16 years and 50 kg or more: 1200 mg orally twice a day

Oral solution formulation:
4 to 12 years or 13 to 16 years and less than 50 kg: 22.5 mg/kg (1.5 mL/kg) orally twice a day or 17 mg/kg (1.1 mL/kg) three times a day, not to exceed 2800 mg/day
13 to 16 years and 50 kg or more: 1400 mg (93 mL) orally twice a day

What other drugs will affect amprenavir?

Amprenavir should not be taken together with ritonavir (Norvir) if you are also using a steroid medicine called fluticasone (Advair, Flonase, Flovent). Ask your doctor about taking a different antiviral medication, or using another treatment for your allergic condition.

Before taking amprenavir, tell your doctor if you are using:

  • bepridil (Vascor);

  • St. John's wort;

  • vitamin E (tocopherol);

  • antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), rifabutin (Mycobutin), or rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater);

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);

  • antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), trazodone (Desyrel), and others;

  • a calcium channel blocker such as amlodipine (Caduet, Lotrel, Norvasc), diltiazem (Tiazac, Cartia, Dilacor), felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat), or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan);

  • cholesterol-lowering medicine such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor, Altocor), or simvastatin (Zocor);

  • drugs that weaken the immune system, such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune), or tacrolimus (Prograf);

  • heart rhythm medications such as amiodarone (Cordarone) or quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex);

  • other HIV /AIDS medicine such as delavirdine (Rescriptor), lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), ritonavir (Norvir), or tipranavir (Aptivus);

  • insulin or diabetes medication you take by mouth;

  • medicines to treat erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra); or

  • seizure medications such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), or phenytoin (Dilantin).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to take amprenavir, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There are many other medicines that can interact with amprenavir. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has information about amprenavir written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Amprenavir is available with a prescription under the brand name Agenerase. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Agenerase 50 mg--off-white, opaque, oblong gelatin capsules

  • Agenerase 150 mg--off-white, opaque, oblong capsules

  • Agenerase Oral Solution 15 mg/mL-a clear, pale yellow, grape bubblegum peppermint-flavored liquid

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.02. Revision Date: 2007-04-25, 11:13:44 AM.

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