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Generic name: indinavir (in DIN a veer)
Brand name: Crixivan
Dosage forms: oral capsule (200 mg; 400 mg)
Drug class: Protease inhibitors

Medically reviewed by on Aug 9, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is indinavir?

Indinavir is an antiviral medicine that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from multiplying in your body.

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

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


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

Before taking this medicine

You should not use indinavir if you are allergic to it.

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

To make sure indinavir is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

It is not known whether indinavir 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 indinavir on the baby.

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.

Indinavir is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take indinavir?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Indinavir works best if you take it on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

You may also take indinavir with a light meal such as dry toast with jelly, or corn flakes with skim milk and sugar. Avoid eating a high-fat meal.

Indinavir is usually taken every 8 hours around the clock. Take the medicine at the same times each day.

Take indinavir with a full glass (8 ounces) of water, skim milk, juice, coffee, or tea. Drink at least 6 glasses of water each day to prevent kidney stones while you are taking indinavir.

Use indinavir regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

While using indinavir, you will need frequent blood tests.

HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the 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. Keep the capsules in their original container, along with the packet or canister of moisture-absorbing preservative. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you are more than 2 hours late, skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lower back pain, and blood in your urine.

What should I avoid while taking indinavir?

If you also take didanosine, take it on an empty stomach 1 hour before or 1 hour after you take indinavir.

Taking indinavir 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.

Indinavir 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.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • painful or difficult urination;

  • blood cell disorders--pale or yellowed skin, fever, dark colored urine, confusion or weakness;

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

  • symptoms of a kidney stone--pain in your side or lower back, painful or difficult urination, blood in your urine;

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

  • (if you also use a "statin" cholesterol medicine)--unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Indinavir 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 indinavir. Tell your doctor if you have:

  • signs of a new infection--fever, night sweats, swollen glands, mouth sores, diarrhea, stomach pain, 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:

  • stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;

  • indigestion, heartburn;

  • changes in appetite;

  • headache, dizziness, feeling weak or tired;

  • back pain;

  • rash, itching, dry skin;

  • altered sense of taste;

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; 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.

Indinavir dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for HIV Infection:

800 mg orally every 8 hours

Use: In combination with other antiretroviral agents, for the treatment of HIV infection

Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents Recommendations: 800 mg orally every 8 hours
-With ritonavir: Indinavir 800 mg plus ritonavir 100 to 200 mg orally twice a day

-This drug is no longer recommended for use due to suboptimal antiviral potency, unacceptable toxicities, high pill burden, or pharmacologic concerns.
-Unboosted indinavir is not recommended as initial therapy due to frequency of administration, fluid requirement, and side effects (e.g., nephrolithiasis, crystalluria); indinavir plus ritonavir is not recommended as initial therapy due to fluid requirement and side effects.
-Unboosted indinavir should be administered 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals (may administer with skim milk or low-fat meal); indinavir plus ritonavir may be administered without regard to meals.
-Current guidelines should be consulted for additional information.

What other drugs will affect indinavir?

Many drugs can interact with indinavir. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with indinavir. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Does Indinavir interact with my other drugs?

Enter other medications to view a detailed report.

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.