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Chemical Name: Ritonavir
Norvir is an anti-HIV medication classified as a protease inhibitor. Norvir is used to prevent T-cells which have been infected with HIV from producing new HIV.
Norvir is taken orally, and is broken down in the liver by a family of enzymes. Protease inhibitors slow down the activity of these enzymes, thus Norvir being the most powerful, can prevent other protease inhibitors from getting to the enzyme which causes levels of these other protease inhibitors to increase in the bloodstream. These protease inhibitors can now be more effective against HIV, thus Norvir needs to be taken with other anti-HIV drugs.
The US Food and Drug Administration have approved the use of Norvir in adults as well as children 1 month of age and older. Norvir is mainly used at lower dosages in adults to help increase the levels of other protease inhibitors in the bloodstream. In children, the dose of Norvir will depend on the body size, but should not exceed 600mg twice a day. As the child gains weight and grows in size, the dose will continually need to be increased. A liquid formulation Norvir is available for children. Norvir is classified as a pregnancy category B drug. Pregnancy category B means that animal studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus, but there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Guidelines recommend that Norvir only be used in HIV-positive pregnant women at low doses in order to boost blood levels of other protease inhibitors. HIV-positive women who become pregnant should discuss the benefits and possible side effects of anti-HIV treatment to help protect their babies from HIV. Also, it is recommended that Norvir be taken with a meal or light snack.
It is also recommended that Norvir be refrigerated, however it is not necessary if Norvir is used within two months and stored below 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do not take Norvir with alfuzosin (Uroxatral), amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), bepridil (Vascor), flecainide (Tambocor), propafenone (Rythmol), quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex), voriconazole (Vfend), astemizole (Hismanal), terfenadine (Seldane), cisapride (Propulsid), pimozide (Orap), midazolam (Versed), triazolam (Halcion), or an ergot medicine such as Ergomar, Cafergot, Wigraine, D.H.E. 45, Migranal, Methergine. These drugs can cause life-threatening side effects if you use them while you are taking Norvir.
There are many other medicines that can interact with Norvir. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use.
HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.
Taking Norvir will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people through unprotected sex or sharing of needles. 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.
Many of the currently available protease inhibitors are affected by cross-resistance. This means that, if you've tried and failed a drug regimen in the past that contained a protease inhibitor, your virus might be resistant to Norvir. Similarly, if you take an anti-HIV drug regimen that contains Norvir and your virus becomes resistant to the drug, your virus might also be resistant to many of the other protease inhibitors available. However, even if your virus becomes resistant to Norvir, the drug can still be used to boost other protease inhibitors in the bloodstream.
Norvir Side Effects:
Side effects that are caused by Ritonavir include weakness, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain or upset, dizziness, drowsiness, muscle pain, or taste changes. Some serious side effects, in which case you need to contact your doctor as soon as possible, include increased thirst; increased urination; confusion; or a tingling or burning sensation in the hands, feet, or around the mouth, experience fever; yellowing of eyes or skin; dark urine; severe nausea or vomiting; severe stomach pain; swelling, reddening, or blistering skin; swelling of hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing; or hoarseness.
The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
All prices are in US dollars.
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