What is the most important information I should know about ritonavir?
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines. Some drugs should not be used with ritonavir.
What is ritonavir?
Ritonavir is an antiviral medicine that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from multiplying in your body.
Ritonavir is used together with other antiviral medicines to treat HIV, the virus that can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Ritonavir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.
Ritonavir may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ritonavir?
Some drugs should not be used with ritonavir. Your treatment plan may change if you also use:
- alfuzosin, apalutamide, cisapride, colchicine, St. John's wort, voriconazole;
- sildenafil (Revatio) when used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH);
- antipsychotic medicine --lurasidone, pimozide;
- cholesterol-lowering medicine --lovastatin, simvastatin, lomitapide;
- ergot medicine --dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, methylergonovine;
- heart medicine --amiodarone, dronedarone, flecainide, propafenone, quinidine, ranolazine; or
- a sedative --oral midazolam or triazolam.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- liver disease (especially hepatitis B or C);
- heart problems;
- diabetes; or
- a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia.
Ritonavir liquid contains alcohol and propylene glycol, and should not be used by pregnant women or premature babies.
To prevent HIV in a newborn baby, use all medications to control your infection during pregnancy. Your name may be listed on an antiviral pregnancy registry.
Ritonavir can make birth control pills or skin patches less effective. Ask your doctor about other birth control options such as an injection, implant, vaginal ring, condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, or contraceptive sponge.
Women with HIV should not breastfeed. The virus can pass to your baby in your breast milk.
How should I take ritonavir?
Ritonavir should not be used without other antiviral medication. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Read and follow all Instructions for Use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you need help.
Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.
Shake the oral solution (liquid). Measure a dose with the supplied syringe or a dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully when giving ritonavir to an infant. Doses are based on body surface area (height and weight) in children. The dose may change if the child grows or gains weight.
Use all HIV medications as directed. Do not change your dose or stop using a medicine without your doctor's advice. Remain under the care of a doctor.
You will need frequent medical tests.
If you've had hepatitis B, it may come back or get worse. You may need liver function tests while using this medicine and for several months after you stop.
Store the tablets,liquid, or powder at room temperature away from heat or moisture. Do not refrigerate. Keep tightly closed when not in use.
Store the capsules in the refrigerator or at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Or store at room temperature and use the capsules within 30 days.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of ritonavir oral liquid could be fatal to a child.
What should I avoid while taking ritonavir?
Drinking alcohol or taking disulfiram (Antabuse) while taking ritonavir capsules or liquid may cause unpleasant side effects.
Using this medicine will not prevent your disease from spreading. Do not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes. Ask your doctor how to prevent HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe.
What are the possible side effects of ritonavir?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, skin sores, difficult breathing, fast or pounding heartbeats, sweating, mouth sores, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- irregular heartbeats, or a light-headed feeling (like you might pass out);
- easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
- signs of a kidney stone --pain in your side or lower back, blood in your urine, painful or difficult urination;
- high blood sugar --increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor; or
- signs of liver or pancreas problems --loss of appetite, upper stomach pain (that may spread to your back), nausea, vomiting, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Ritonavir affects your immune system, which may cause certain side effects (even weeks or months after you've taken this medicine). Tell your doctor if you have:
- signs of a new infection --fever, night sweats, swollen glands, cold sores, cough, wheezing, diarrhea, weight loss;
- trouble speaking or swallowing, problems with balance or eye movement, weakness or prickly feeling; or
- swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid), menstrual changes, impotence.
Common side effects may include:
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea;
- numbness or tingling in your hands or feet or around your mouth;
- feeling weak or tired;
- 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.
What other drugs will affect ritonavir?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medicines at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you use, which may increase side effects or make the medicines less effective.
Many drugs can affect ritonavir, and some drugs should not be used at the same time. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here.
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about ritonavir.
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.
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 1996-2023 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 23.02. Revision date: 3/8/2022.