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Raltegravir

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jul 17, 2020.

Pronunciation

(ral TEG ra vir)

Index Terms

  • MK-0518
  • RAL
  • Raltegravir Potassium

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling. [DSC] = Discontinued product

Packet, Oral:

Isentress: 100 mg (1 ea [DSC], 60 ea) [contains polyethylene glycol; banana flavor]

Tablet, Oral:

Isentress: 400 mg

Isentress HD: 600 mg

Tablet Chewable, Oral:

Isentress: 25 mg [contains aspartame, saccharin sodium; orange banana flavor]

Isentress: 100 mg [scored; contains aspartame, saccharin sodium; orange banana flavor]

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Isentress
  • Isentress HD

Pharmacologic Category

  • Antiretroviral, Integrase Inhibitor (Anti-HIV)

Pharmacology

Incorporation of viral DNA into the host cell’s genome is required to produce a self-replicating provirus and propagation of infectious virion particles. The viral cDNA strand produced by reverse transcriptase is subsequently processed and inserted into the human genome by the enzyme HIV-1 integrase (encoded by the pol gene of HIV). Raltegravir inhibits the catalytic activity of integrase, thus preventing integration of the proviral gene into human DNA.

Absorption

Film-coated tablet (400 mg formulation): AUC increased twofold with high-fat meal; Chewable tablet: AUC decreased by ~6% with high-fat meal (not clinically significant); Oral suspension: The effect of food was not studied

Metabolism

Primarily hepatic glucuronidation mediated by UGT1A1

Excretion

Feces (~51%, as unchanged drug); urine (~32%; 9% as unchanged drug)

Time to Peak

Film-coated tablet (400 mg formulation): ~3 hours; film-coated tablet (600 mg formulation): ~1.5 to 2 hours

Half-Life Elimination

~9 hours

Protein Binding

~83%

Special Populations: Children

At birth, the enzyme responsible for the metabolism of raltegravir (UGT1A1) is low and raltegravir elimination in neonates may be prolonged. The activity of UGT1A1 increases rapidly over the first 4 to 6 weeks of life (HHS [perinatal 2020]). Raltegravir also competes with bilirubin for albumin protein-binding sites and may increase unconjugated bilirubin concentrations (HHS [perinatal 2020]).

Use: Labeled Indications

HIV-1 infection, treatment: Treatment of HIV-1 infection in combination with other antiretroviral agents

Off Label Uses

HIV-1 nonoccupational postexposure prophylaxis

Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services updated guidelines for antiretroviral postexposure prophylaxis after sexual, injection drug use, or other nonoccupational exposure to HIV, raltegravir (in conjunction with other antiretrovirals) is effective and recommended for postexposure prophylaxis of HIV-1 infection following nonoccupational exposure (nPEP) in individuals exposed to blood, genital secretions, or other potentially infectious body fluids that may contain HIV when that exposure represents a substantial risk for HIV transmission.

HIV-1 occupational postexposure prophylaxis

Based on the US Public Health Service updated guidelines for the management of occupational exposures to HIV and recommendations for postexposure prophylaxis, raltegravir (in combination with emtricitabine/tenofovir) is an effective and recommended treatment option for postexposure prophylaxis of HIV-1 infection in health care personnel following occupational exposure (oPEP) to blood and/or other body fluids that may contain HIV.

Contraindications

There are no contraindications listed in the manufacturer's labeling.

Canadian labeling: Hypersensitivity to raltegravir or any other component of the formulation

Dosing: Adult

HIV-1 infection, treatment: Oral: Note: Do not use raltegravir in combination with darunavir and ritonavir in patients with HIV RNA >100,000 copies/mL and/or CD4 count <200 cells/mm3, or in combination with abacavir and lamivudine in patients with HIV RNA >100,000 copies/mL (HHS [adult] 2019).

Treatment-naive patients: Film-coated tablet: 400 mg twice daily or 1,200 mg once daily (2 x 600 mg tablet). Note: Patients virologically suppressed on an initial regimen of raltegravir 400 mg twice daily may switch to 1,200 mg (2 x 600 mg tablet) once daily. Once daily dosing is not recommended for use during pregnancy (HHS [perinatal] 2019).

Treatment-experienced patients: Film-coated tablet: 400 mg twice daily.

HIV-1 nonoccupational postexposure prophylaxis (nPEP) (off-label use): Oral: Film-coated tablet: 400 mg twice daily for 28 days in combination with other antiretroviral agents. Initiate therapy within 72 hours of exposure (HHS [nPEP] 2016).

HIV-1 occupational postexposure, prophylaxis (oPEP) (off-label use): Oral: Film-coated tablet: 400 mg twice daily for 4 weeks with concomitant emtricitabine/tenofovir. Initiate therapy as soon as possible after occupational exposure (and within 72 hours) (Kuhar 2013).

Dosage adjustment for concomitant therapy: Significant drug interactions exist, requiring dose/frequency adjustment or avoidance. Consult drug interactions database for more information.

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Pediatric

Note: Raltegravir film-coated tablets and chewable tablets or oral suspension are not bioequivalent and are not substitutable on a mg/mg basis.

HIV-1 infection, treatment: Note: Use in combination with other antiretroviral (ARV) agents. Gene mutation and ARV resistance patterns should be evaluated (refer to https://www.iasusa.org for more information) when necessary.

Oral suspension (10 mg/mL): Oral: Infants and Children <20 kg:

Weight-directed dosing: 6 mg/kg/dose twice daily; maximum dose: 100 mg/dose.

Fixed dosing:

3 to <4 kg: 25 mg twice daily.

4 to <6 kg: 30 mg twice daily.

6 to <8 kg: 40 mg twice daily.

8 to <11 kg: 60 mg twice daily.

11 to <14 kg: 80 mg twice daily.

14 to <20 kg: 100 mg twice daily.

Chewable tablets: Oral: Children weighing ≥11 kg:

Weight-directed dosing: 6 mg/kg/dose twice daily; maximum dose: 300 mg/dose.

Fixed dosing:

11 to <14 kg: 75 mg twice daily.

14 to <20 kg: 100 mg twice daily.

20 to <28 kg: 150 mg twice daily.

28 to <40 kg: 200 mg twice daily.

≥40 kg: 300 mg twice daily.

Film-coated tablets: Oral: For patients able to swallow a tablet whole:

Isentress: 400 mg tablets: Children and Adolescents ≥25 kg: 400 mg twice daily.

Isentress HD: 600 mg tablets: Children and Adolescents ≥40 kg: 1,200 mg once daily. Note: Regimen appropriate for patients virologically suppressed on an initial regimen of raltegravir 400 mg twice daily (HHS [pediatric 2020]).

HIV-1 nonoccupational postexposure prophylaxis (nPEP) (HHS [nPEP] 2016): Note: Initiate therapy within 72 hours of exposure and continue for 28 days; use in combination with other antiretroviral agents.

Infants and Children <2 years: Oral: Oral suspension (10 mg/mL): 6 mg/kg/dose twice daily.

Children ≥2 years: Oral:

Chewable tablets:

11 to <14 kg: 75 mg twice daily.

14 to <20 kg: 100 mg twice daily.

20 to <28 kg: 150 mg twice daily.

28 to <40 kg: 200 mg twice daily.

≥40 kg: 300 mg twice daily.

Film-coated tablet: Isentress 400 mg tablet: Children ≥6 years weighing >25 kg who are able to swallow a tablet whole: 400 mg twice daily.

Adolescents: Oral: Film-coated tablet: Isentress 400 mg tablet: 400 mg twice daily for 28 days.

Dosage adjustment for concomitant therapy: Significant drug interactions exist, requiring dose/frequency adjustment or avoidance. Consult drug interactions database for more information.

Administration

May be administered without regard to meals.

Chewable tablets: May be chewed or swallowed whole; the 100 mg chewable tablet may be divided into equal halves.

Film-coated tablets: Must be swallowed whole.

Oral suspension: Using provided mixing cup, pour packet contents into 10 mL water, close lid and swirl in a circular motion for 45 seconds; do not shake. Do not turn the mixing cup upside down. Once mixed, measure recommended suspension dose with an oral syringe (concentration of suspension is 10 mg/mL). Administer within 30 minutes of mixing with water. Discard any remaining suspension in the trash.

Dietary Considerations

Some products may contain phenylalanine; avoid or use with caution in patient with phenylketonuria.

Storage

Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F); excursions are permitted between 15°C and 30°C (59°F and 86°F).

Film-coated and chewable tablets: Store in the original package; keep desiccant in the bottle to protect from moisture.

Oral suspension: Store in the original container; do not open foil packet until ready for reconstitution and use.

Drug Interactions

Aluminum Hydroxide: May decrease the serum concentration of Raltegravir. Management: Avoid the use of oral / enteral aluminum hydroxide with raltegravir. No dose separation schedule has been established that adequately reduces the magnitude of interaction. Avoid combination

Calcium Carbonate: May decrease the serum concentration of Raltegravir. Management: Use of once-daily raltegravir with calcium carbonate is not recommended; dose separation does not appear to be adequate to minimize the significance of this interaction. Use of other raltegravir products do not require any dose change. Consider therapy modification

Etravirine: May decrease the serum concentration of Raltegravir. Management: Concurrent use of etravirine with once-daily raltegravir (Isentress HD) is not recommended. Concurrent use of other raltegravir products with etravirine does not require any dose change. Monitor therapy

Fibric Acid Derivatives: Raltegravir may enhance the myopathic (rhabdomyolysis) effect of Fibric Acid Derivatives. Monitor therapy

Fosamprenavir: May decrease the serum concentration of Raltegravir. Raltegravir may decrease the serum concentration of Fosamprenavir. Avoid combination

HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors (Statins): Raltegravir may enhance the myopathic (rhabdomyolysis) effect of HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors (Statins). Monitor therapy

Magnesium Salts: May decrease the serum concentration of Raltegravir. Management: Avoid the use of oral / enteral magnesium salts with raltegravir. No dose separation schedule has been established that adequately reduces the magnitude of interaction. Avoid combination

Orlistat: May decrease the serum concentration of Antiretroviral Agents. Monitor therapy

Polyvalent Cation Containing Products: May decrease the serum concentration of Raltegravir. Management: Administer raltegravir 2 hours before or 6 hours after administration of the polyvalent cations. Dose separation may not adequately minimize the significance of this interaction. Consider therapy modification

Rifabutin: May decrease the serum concentration of Raltegravir. Specifically, minimum serum concentrations (Cmin) may be reduced. Total raltegravir exposure (i.e., AUC) may be increased. Monitor therapy

RifAMPin: May decrease the serum concentration of Raltegravir. Management: Increase raltegravir dose to 800 mg twice daily (adult dose) when used concomitantly with rifampin. Concurrent use of rifampin with once-daily raltegravir (Isentress HD) is not recommended. Consider therapy modification

Rifapentine: May increase the serum concentration of Raltegravir. Rifapentine may decrease the serum concentration of Raltegravir. Monitor therapy

Tipranavir: May decrease the serum concentration of Raltegravir. Management: Concurrent use of tipranavir/ritonavir with once-daily raltegravir (Isentress HD) is not recommended. Monitor therapy

Zidovudine: Raltegravir may enhance the myopathic (rhabdomyolysis) effect of Zidovudine. Monitor therapy

Adverse Reactions

The following adverse drug reactions and incidences are derived from product labeling unless otherwise specified.

>10%: Hepatic: Increased serum ALT (1% to 11%; incidence higher with hepatitis B and/or C coinfection)

1% to 10%:

Central nervous system: Headache (≤4%), insomnia (≤4%), abnormal dreams (≥2%), nightmares (≥2%), dizziness (≤2%), fatigue (≤2%), depression (<2%; particularly in subjects with a preexisting history of psychiatric illness), suicidal ideation (<2%), suicidal tendencies (<2%), psychomotor agitation (children and adolescents), abnormal behavior (children and adolescents)

Dermatologic: Allergic rash (children and adolescents: 1%)

Endocrine & metabolic: Increased serum glucose (126 to 250 mg/dL: 7% to 10%; 251 to 500 mg/dL: 2% to 3%)

Gastrointestinal: Increased serum lipase (≤5%), increased serum amylase (≤4%), nausea (≤3%), decreased appetite (≥2%), diarrhea (≥2%), flatulence (≥2%), abdominal pain (<2%), dyspepsia (<2%), gastritis (<2%), vomiting (<2%)

Genitourinary: Herpes genitalis (<2%)

Hematologic & oncologic: Decrease in absolute neutrophil count (1% to 4%), thrombocytopenia (≤3%), decreased hemoglobin (≤1%)

Hepatic: Increased serum AST (≤9%; incidence higher with hepatitis B and/or C coinfection), hyperbilirubinemia (≤6%; incidence slightly higher with hepatitis B and/or C coinfection), increased serum alkaline phosphatase (≤2%), hepatitis (<2%)

Hypersensitivity: Hypersensitivity reaction (<2%)

Infection: Herpes zoster (<2%)

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Increased creatine phosphokinase (1% to 4%), weakness (<2%)

Renal: Nephrolithiasis (<2%), renal failure (<2%), increased serum creatinine (≤1%)

Frequency not defined:

Hematologic & oncologic: Malignant neoplasm

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Myopathy, rhabdomyolysis

<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Anxiety, cerebellar ataxia, DRESS syndrome (Perry 2013), hepatic failure, immune reconstitution syndrome, paranoia, skin rash, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Immune reconstitution syndrome: Patients may develop immune reconstitution syndrome resulting in the occurrence of an inflammatory response to an indolent or residual opportunistic infection during initial HIV treatment or activation of autoimmune disorders (eg, Graves’ disease, polymyositis, Guillain-Barré syndrome) later in therapy; further evaluation and treatment may be required.

• Myopathy: Grade 2 to 4 creatine kinase (CK) increases have been observed and myopathy and rhabdomyolysis have been reported; use caution in patients with a history of rhabdomyolysis, myopathy, or increased serum creatine kinase or who have risk factors for CK elevations and/or skeletal muscle abnormalities, including taking other drugs known to cause myopathy or rhabdomyolysis.

• Skin and hypersensitivity reactions: Severe, life-threatening or fatal cases of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis have been reported. Hypersensitivity reactions (rash, constitutional symptoms, organ dysfunction) have also been reported. Discontinue immediately if a severe skin reaction or hypersensitivity symptoms develop. Monitor clinical status, including liver transaminases.

Dosage form specific issues:

• Chewable tablet: Contains phenylalanine; avoid or use with caution in patient with phenylketonuria.

• Tablets and oral suspension: Raltegravir film-coated tablets and chewable tablets or oral suspension are not bioequivalent and are not substitutable on a mg/mg basis.

Monitoring Parameters

Viral load, CD4 count, signs of skin rash, signs/symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation

HIV occupational postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) (Kuhar, 2013): Documented HIV test (at baseline and 6 weeks, 12 weeks and 6 months after exposure); if confirmation that a fourth generation HIV p2 antigen-HIV antibody test is being used, monitor at baseline, 6 weeks and 4 months after exposure. CBC, renal and hepatic function assessments at baseline and 2 weeks after exposure (minimum recommendations, others dictated by clinical assessment)

Reproductive Considerations

The Health and Human Services (HHS) Perinatal HIV Guidelines consider raltegravir a preferred integrase strand transfer inhibitor for females living with HIV who are not yet pregnant but are trying to conceive.

For males and females living with HIV and planning a pregnancy, maximum viral suppression below the limits of detection with antiretroviral therapy (ART), modification of therapy (if needed), optimization of the woman's health, and a discussion of the potential risks and benefits of ART therapy during pregnancy is recommended prior to conception (HHS [perinatal] 2019).

Pregnancy Considerations

Raltegravir has high transfer across the human placenta.

No increased risk of overall birth defects has been observed following first trimester exposure according to data collected by the antiretroviral pregnancy registry. Maternal antiretroviral therapy (ART) may be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes including preterm delivery, stillbirth, low birth weight, and small for gestational age infants. Actual risks may be influenced by maternal factors such as disease severity, gestational age at initiation of therapy, and specific ART regimen; therefore, close fetal monitoring is recommended. Because there is clear benefit to appropriate treatment, maternal ART should not be withheld due to concerns for adverse neonatal outcomes. Long-term follow-up is recommended for all infants exposed to antiretroviral medications; children without HIV but who were exposed to ART in utero and develop significant organ system abnormalities of unknown etiology (particularly of the CNS or heart) should be evaluated for potential mitochondrial dysfunction.

The Health and Human Services (HHS) Perinatal HIV Guidelines consider raltegravir a preferred integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI) for pregnant females living with HIV who are antiretroviral-naive, who have had ART therapy in the past but are restarting, or who require a new ART regimen (due to poor tolerance or poor virologic response of current regimen). In addition, females who become pregnant while taking raltegravir may continue if viral suppression is effective and the regimen is well tolerated. Raltegravir is an alternative component of a regimen when acute HIV infection is detected during pregnancy. INSTIs can rapidly suppress viral load. A regimen with raltegravir may be useful when drug interactions or the potential for preterm delivery with protease inhibitors are a concern. In addition, use of raltegravir, may be beneficial in women with HIV who are not on ART and present for care late in pregnancy, as a fourth drug in women with high viral loads, or as part of a new regimen for a woman experiencing virologic failure on ART.

The pharmacokinetics of raltegravir are variable. Dose adjustments are not required in pregnant patients; however, once daily dosing is not recommended until more data in pregnancy are available.

In general, ART is recommended for all pregnant females living with HIV to keep the viral load below the limit of detection and reduce the risk of perinatal transmission. Therapy should be individualized following a discussion of the potential risks and benefits of treatment during pregnancy. Monitoring of pregnant females is more frequent than in nonpregnant adults. ART should be continued postpartum for all females living with HIV and can be modified after delivery.

Health care providers are encouraged to enroll pregnant females exposed to antiretroviral medications as early in pregnancy as possible in the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry (1-800-258-4263 or http://www.APRegistry.com). Health care providers caring for females living with HIV and their infants may contact the National Perinatal HIV Hotline (1-888-448-8765) for clinical consultation (HHS [perinatal] 2019).

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

• It is used to treat HIV infection.

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

• Trouble sleeping

• Headache

• Dizziness

• Nausea

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

• Infection

• Liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, lack of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, light-colored stools, vomiting, or yellow skin or eyes.

• Muscle pain

• Joint pain

• Severe loss of strength and energy

• Muscle weakness

• Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.

• Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a limited summary of general information about the medicine's uses from the patient education leaflet and is not intended to be comprehensive. This limited summary does NOT include all information available about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. For a more detailed summary of information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine, please speak with your healthcare provider and review the entire patient education leaflet.

Further information

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