SAQUINAVIR (sa KWIN a veer) is an antiretroviral medicine. It is used with other medicines to treat HIV. This medicine is not a cure for HIV. This medicine can lower, but not fully prevent, the risk of spreading HIV to others.
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine with food. Take this medicine with ritonavir at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. For your anti-HIV therapy to work as well as possible, take each dose exactly as prescribed. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine even if you feel better. Skipping doses may make the HIV virus resistant to this medicine and other medicines. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
fast, irregular heartbeat
feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
unusually weak or tired
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
increased hunger or thirst
weight gain around waist, back, or thinning of face, arms, legs
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
certain medicines for cholesterol like lovastatin, red yeast rice, simvastatin
medicines for headaches like dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine
medicines for irregular heart beat like amiodarone, bepridil, disopyramide, dofetilide, flecainide, ibutilide, lidocaine, propafenone, quinidine
phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, perphenazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine, trifluoperazine
St. John's wort
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
certain medicines for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat like amlodipine, digoxin, diltiazem, felodipine, ibutilide, isradipine, nifedipine, nicardipine, nimodipine, nisoldipine, procainamide, sotalol, verapamil
corticosteroids like betamethasone, budesonide, ciclesonide, dexamethasone, fluticasone, methylprednisolone, prednisone, triamcinolone
female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections
medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances like alprazolam, amitriptyline, clomipramine, clorazepate, diazepam, flurazepam, imipramine, maprotiline, nefazodone, quetiapine
medicines for diabetesmedicines for erectile dysfunction like tadalafil and vardenafil
medicines for infections like dapsone, fusidic acid, ketoconazole, itraconazole, quinupristin; dalfopristin, rifabutin, rifapentine
medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
medicines for stomach problems like esomeprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole, rabeprazole, ranitidine
other medicines for HIV like delavirdine, efavirenz, maraviroc, nelfinavir, nevirapine, indinavir, lopinavir; ritonavir, tipranavir
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store tightly closed at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from moisture. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
history of irregular heartbeat
history of low levels of calcium, magnesium, or potassium in the blood
an unusual or allergic reaction to saquinavir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Discuss any new symptoms with your doctor. You will need to have important blood work done while on this medicine.
HIV is spread to others through sexual or blood contact. Talk to your doctor about how to stop the spread of HIV.
Birth control pills may not work properly while you are taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor about using an extra method of birth control. Women who can still have children must use a reliable form of barrier contraception, like a condom or diaphragm.
This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.