Indinavir is a drug used to treat infection with HIV or AIDS. It is usually used in combination with other drugs, though it may also be used alone.
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). Indinavir does not prevent or cure HIV or AIDS. It works by blocking protease, which is an enzyme that is part of the HIV infection. By blocking or inhibiting this enzyme, indinavir helps to block the destruction of the immune system that HIV and AIDS cause. In this way it slows the spread of the virus in the body and the damage that it causes.
Indinavir is often used with ritonavir, which has the effect of increasing the beneficial impacts of indinavir and rendering it more effective.
Indinavir does not prevent patients from spreading HIV to other people. Continue to take precautions to avoid spreading HIV to other people while you are taking indinavir. Do not share personal items such as razors, toothbrushes, or syringes, which may have come in contact with your body's fluids. Use effective barrier methods like polyurethane condoms or dental dams when engaging in sexual activity. Take all of your HIV/AIDS medications exactly as they are prescribed or as your doctor has instructed you to.
Indinavir is available only when prescribed by your doctor. Make sure you follow all the instructions that your doctor or pharmacist gives you about taking indinavir. If you do not understand these instructions, ask for clarification.
Indinavir may also be used, together with several other drugs, to reduce the risk of HIV infection after a patient has come in contact with the HIV virus.
All medications come with the risk of causing negative side effects as well as the effects that they are intended to produce. If you are uncomfortable with any of the side effects that you are experiencing, or have any questions about them, talk to your doctor or medical professional about them. Your doctor may be able to help you prevent or lessen some of the side effects that you are experiencing.
Indinavir helps to reduce the deleterious effect that HIV or AIDS has on your immune system. When you begin taking indinavir, your immune system should start to become stronger. As your immune system is strengthened, it may begin to work to fight off infections that you already had. It is also possible that your immune system may become overactive. Both of these scenarios can cause symptoms that appear as side effects. If you experience any of the following side effects, talk to your doctor about them immediately:
There are also more common side effects that will generally not necessitate medical attention. If any of these side effects are causing problems for you, or if they last or get worse, talk to your doctor.
This medication may come with an increased risk of kidney stones. Contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of kidney stones, such as: pain in your side or mid-back, pink or bloody urine, or pain when urinating. To help prevent the development of kidney stones while you are taking indinavir, make sure you are drinking adequate water to maintain hydration. Talk to your doctor about how much water you should be drinking each day. A good general rule to ensure hydration is to drink around eight 8-oz glasses of water a day.
Indinavir may cause changes in your distribution of body fat. For example, some patients may see decreased fat in the arms and legs while the fat in stomach and back areas is increased. It is not known why indinavir causes these changes, or what the effects of these changes may be. Talk to your doctor about the risks of these effects and how you may prevent or mitigate them.
If you experience any of the symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, get medical help immediately. These symptoms include: rash, itching, or swelling, especially of the face or mouth, severe dizziness, and problems breathing.
It is also possible that you may experience other side effects that are not listed. If you are experiencing any other side effects, check in with your doctor to make sure they are not indications of any issues with your treatment. You may also report any side effects that you experience to the FDA at 800-FDA-1080.
Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how much indinavir you should be taking, and how frequently to take it. Do not change your dosage without talking to your doctor or medical professional about it beforehand.
A typical dosage of indinavir is 800 mg taken orally every eight hours. This is usually administered in capsules of 400 mg.
Indinavir should be taken every eight hours, and should not be taken with food. For ideal absorption, indinavir should be taken with water or another liquid at least one hour before or two hours after a meal. If taking indinavir upsets your stomach, you can take it with a glass of milk or a small meal, such as toast.
If you miss a dose of indinavir, take it when you remember. If you are near the time of your next dose when you remember, skip the dose you missed and resume a normal schedule with your next dose. Never take double your dosage.
Many drugs can interact with other medications in ways that can reduce their effectiveness or increase the risk of side effects. Make sure you talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any medications you are taking to make sure they won't have negative interactions. Do not start taking any new medications while you are taking indinavir without talking to your doctor about it first.
Taking indinavir with any of the following medications is not recommended. Your doctor may take you off one of these medications, or find a different medication for you to take instead.
Taking indinavir with any of the following medications is usually not recommended. Your doctor may decide that you need to take both medications. He or she may change the way you take one of the medications in order to minimize the risk of an interaction.
The following drugs, taken at the same time as indinavir, may increase your risk of some side effects. Your doctor may decide that it is still best for you to take both medications at the same time. He or she may change the way you take one of the medications or give you strategies for mitigating the risk of increased side effects.
It is possible that indinavir may interact with other drugs that are not listed here. For this reason, it is extremely important that you tell your doctor about any and all medications that you are taking.
Some foods may interact with certain medications. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you if there are certain foods that you should avoid, or if you need to maintain a special diet of any kind while taking indinavir.
Tobacco or alcohol may cause interactions with some medications. Make sure you talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your use of tobacco or alcohol. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you if you need to alter your use of tobacco or alcohol in order to ensure the optimal functioning of indinavir.
Do not take indinavir in any way except the way your doctor or pharmacist has instructed you to take it. If you do not understand how you are supposed to be taking indinavir, talk to your doctor or medical professional before taking it. Do not share your prescription with others.
Before you take indinavir, make sure you have told your doctor about all of your allergies. It is possible that indinavir may contain inactive ingredients that you are allergic to.
Make sure that your doctor is aware of your complete medical history. Tell your doctor about any medical conditions that you have. Some medical conditions may affect the way you are able to take indinavir or may require you to be especially aware of side effects. Taking indinavir may cause changes in your blood sugar, so if you are diabetic, you may need to monitor your blood sugar closely.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
Indinavir may cause you to develop kidney stones. Drink lots of water to make sure you are hydrated; this will help prevent the development of kidney stones. If you notice any of the symptoms of kidney stones, such as painful urination or pain in the back or side, talk to your doctor immediately. The risk of developing kidney stones may be greater in children.
Your doctor should monitor your health while you are taking indinavir, to make sure that it is working the way it is supposed to and that you are not developing any issues with it. Your doctor may monitor your health using blood or urine tests.
Indinavir is considered to be safe for use by pregnant women. However, if you are pregnant, you should only use indinavir if it is clearly necessary. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking indinavir while you are pregnant. Indinavir does help to reduce the chances of passing HIV to your unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
Indinavir should not be used by breastfeeding mothers. Indinavir may be able to pass from your body into your breastmilk. If you are breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about this risk. Your doctor will help you decide if you need to stop breastfeeding or if there are other ways you can mitigate the risk of passing the medication to your baby. It is also not recommended to breastfeed if you are on indinavir to treat HIV, because you may pass HIV to your baby through your breastmilk, even if you are taking indinavir.
It is likely that when you start taking indinavir, your immune system will start to become stronger. This is the intended benefit of the medication. However, if you had any diseases or infections before you started taking indinavir, you could start to experience symptoms once your immune system has the strength to fight them off. Talk to your doctor about any symptoms you start to experience, especially symptoms of infection.
Indinavir should be stored at room temperature. Keep indinavir away from exposure to light and moisture. Do not store this medication in the bathroom, which is too moist of an environment. Make sure to keep indinavir away from children or pets.
Do not take indinavir if it has reached its expiration date. If your medication has expired or if you have extra medication, ask your pharmacist how you should dispose of it appropriately. Do not pour indinavir down the toilet, into the sink, or dump it in the trash.
Indinavir is a protease-inhibiting drug that is used to treat HIV or AIDS. Indinavir does not prevent the spread of HIV, nor does it cure HIV or AIDS. It works by blocking protease, one of the enzymes of HIV that causes damage to the immune system. By blocking protease, indinavir helps to strengthen the immune systems of patients with HIV or AIDS.
Indinavir is often prescribed alongside a combination of other drugs. It is commonly taken with ritonavir, which strengthens the effects of indinavir. When these two drugs are prescribed together, they should be taken at the same time to maximize their impact.
Indinavir may interact with other drugs. For this reason, it is very important to talk to your doctor about any other medications or supplements that you are taking. Do not begin taking any new drugs without talking to your doctor about it first.
It is common for pregnant women to take indinavir. Indinavir can help to reduce the chances of passing HIV to your baby while you are pregnant. Talk to your doctor about any risks or side effects that you may experience by taking indinavir while pregnant.
Breastfeeding women should not take indinavir, as it is possible that indinavir may pass into their breastmilk. Make sure your doctor knows you are breastfeeding before prescribing you indinavir. You may need to stop breastfeeding while you are taking indinavir. Breastfeeding may also put your baby at risk for contracting HIV.
There is a risk of side effects or health problems from taking indinavir. Your doctor should know about all your medical conditions, and any symptoms or side effects that you experience while you are taking indinavir.
Make sure you take indinavir exactly as you were instructed to by your doctor or pharmacist. If you do not understand these instructions, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking indinavir, to make sure that you take it correctly. Do not share indinavir with anyone else. Do not take indinavir if it has reached its expiration date.
Serious allergic reactions to indinavir are rare. However, if you experience any of the signs of a serious allergic reaction, get medical help immediately.