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Darunavir

Generic Name: darunavir (da ROON a veer)
Brand Name: Prezista

Medically reviewed on August 10, 2017.

What is darunavir?

Darunavir is a protease (PRO-tee-ayz) inhibitor antiviral medicine that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from multiplying in your body.

Darunavir is used to treat HIV, the virus that can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Darunavir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.

Darunavir may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using. Many drugs can interact with darunavir, and some drugs should not be used together.

Darunavir can cause serious liver problems. Call your doctor if you have upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, tiredness, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have a severe skin reaction: fever, burning or redness in your eyes, mouth sores, or a skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to darunavir or ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra), or if you have severe liver disease.

Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used with darunavir. Your doctor may need to change your treatment plan if you use any of the following drugs:

To make sure darunavir is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. HIV can be passed to your baby if you are not properly treated during pregnancy. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of darunavir on the baby.

Darunavir can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using non hormonal birth control (condom, diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking darunavir.

Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed a baby. Even if your baby is born without HIV, the virus may be passed to the baby in your breast milk.

Darunavir and ritonavir should not be given to a child younger than 3 years old, or a child who weighs less than 22 pounds.

How should I take darunavir?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Darunavir must be taken together with another medication called ritonavir. Take the medicines together at the same time every day.

Take darunavir tablets with a full glass (8 ounces) of water or milk. Swallow the darunavir tablet whole. Do not break or chew.

Darunavir works best if you take it with food, at the same time each day.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with the oral dosing syringe provided with this medicine. If you did not receive an oral syringe with your medication, ask your pharmacist for one.

While using darunavir, you may need frequent blood tests.

Use darunavir 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 drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose of darunavir and ritonavir as soon as you remember and take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Always take darunavir and ritonavir together.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking darunavir?

If you also take didanosine (Videx), take it 1 hour before or 2 hours after you take darunavir.

Taking darunavir will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Do not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

Darunavir side effects

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

Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have a severe skin reaction: fever, burning or redness in your eyes, mouth sores, or a skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;

  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;

  • liver problems--upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • high blood sugar--increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss.

Darunavir may increase your risk of certain infections or autoimmune disorders by changing the way your immune system works. Symptoms may occur weeks or months after you start treatment with darunavir. Tell your doctor if you have:

  • signs of a new infection--fever, night sweats, swollen glands, diarrhea, weight loss;

  • chest pain (especially when you breathe), dry cough, wheezing, feeling short of breath;

  • cold sores, sores on your genital or anal area;

  • rapid heart rate, feeling anxious or irritable, weakness or prickly feeling, problems with balance or eye movement;

  • trouble speaking or swallowing, severe lower back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control; or

  • swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid), menstrual changes, impotence, loss of interest in sex.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;

  • headache;

  • rash; or

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

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect darunavir?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Many drugs can interact with darunavir, and some drugs should not be used together. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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