What is raltegravir?
Raltegravir is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.
Raltegravir is used to treat HIV, which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This medication is usually given to people who have a strain of the virus that is resistant to other antiviral medications. Raltegravir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.
Raltegravir may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to raltegravir.
If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication. Before you take raltegravir, tell your doctor if you have:
- a muscle disorder;
- kidney disease;
- liver disease;
- a history of mental illness or depression.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether raltegravir is harmful to an unborn baby. HIV can be passed to the baby if the mother is not properly treated during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection while you are pregnant.
Your name may need to be listed on an antiviral pregnancy registry if you become pregnant while you are taking this medication. The purpose of this registry is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and delivery to evaluate whether raltegravir had any effect on the baby.
You should not breast-feed while you are using raltegravir. 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.
Avoid having unprotected sex or sharing needles, razors, or toothbrushes. Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. 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.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Symptoms of a raltegravir overdose are not known.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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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.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding;
- signs of a new infection, such as fever or chills, cough, or flu symptoms;
- sore throat and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
- drowsiness, confusion, increased thirst, lower back pain, urinating less than usual or not at all;
- depressed mood, unusual thoughts about hurting yourself;
- nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
- muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness with fever or flu symptoms and dark colored urine.
Less serious side effects may include:
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;
- tired feeling;
- dizziness; or
- changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and trunk).
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. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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The following drugs can interact with raltegravir. Tell your doctor if you are using any of these:
- rifampin (Rifadin, Rifamate, Rimactane);
- phenobarbital (Solfoton); or
- cholesterol medications such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor), simvastatin (Zocor), and others.
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with raltegravir. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
Isentress and raltegravir
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