Treats human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Ritonavir does not cure HIV or AIDS. It is used with other medicines to slow the progress of the disease.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to ritonavir. Do not use this medicine together with alfuzosin (Uroxatral®), amiodarone (Cordarone®), astemizole (Hismanal®), bepridil (Vascor®), cisapride (Propulsid®), dihydroergotamine (Migranal®), ergonovine, ergotamine (Cafergot®), flecainide (Tambocor®), methylergonovine (Methergine®), midazolam (Versed®), pimozide (Orap®), propafenone (Rythmol®), quinidine (Cardioquin®), St John's wort, terfenadine (Seldane®), triazolam (Halcion®), or voriconazole (Vfend®).
How to Use This Medicine
Liquid Filled Capsule, Liquid
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
- Shake the oral liquid medicine thoroughly before each use. Measure the medicine with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup. You can mix the oral liquid with chocolate milk or nutritional drinks such as Ensure® or Advera® to make it taste better. You should drink this medicine within one hour of mixing.
- Take all other medicines your doctor has prescribed as part of your combination treatment. Do not stop using your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the liquid-filled capsules in the refrigerator or at room temperature in a closed container. If stored at room temperature, use the medicine within 30 days. Keep away from heat and direct light.
- Store the liquid in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not refrigerate.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- You must avoid many other medicines while you are using ritonavir. Using these medicines together could cause serious health problems, including death. Make sure your doctor knows if you are using fluticasone (Advair®, Flonase®), rifabutin (Mycobutin®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifater®, Rifamate®), sildenafil (Viagra®), tadalafil (Cialis®), vardenafil (Levitra®), or medicine to lower cholesterol such as atorvastatin (Lipitor®), lovastatin (Mevacor®), or simvastatin (Zocor®). Other medicines you need to discuss with your doctor before taking include medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as indinavir, saquinavir, delavirdine, didanosine), narcotic analgesics (such as tramadol, propoxyphene, methadone), anesthetic such as meperidine, a blood thinner such as warfarin, or medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as disopyramide, lidocaine, mexiletine).
- Tell your doctor if you are also using medicine to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, clonazepam, ethosuximide), medicine for depression (such as bupropion, nefazodone, desipramine), medicine to treat vomiting such as dronabinol, antifungals (such as ketoconazole, itraconazole), or antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, atovaquone, quinine). Make sure your doctor knows if you also use beta-blockers (such as metoprolol, timolol), asthma medicine such as theophylline, calcium channel blockers (such as diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil), digoxin, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, sirolimus, medicine to treat mental illness (such as perphenazine, risperidone), birth control medicine such as ethinyl estradiol, sedative/hypnotics (such as buspirone, clorazepate, diazepam), steroid medicine such as (dexamethasone, prednisone), or stimulant such as methamphetamine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, or hemophilia (a bleeding disorder).
- Birth control pills may not work while you are using ritonavir. To keep from getting pregnant, use another form of birth control. Other forms include condoms, a diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly.
- Tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking since the dose of your ritonavir or other medications you take may need to be adjusted.
- The liquid form of this medicine contains alcohol. Tell your doctor if you are taking, or plan to take disulfiram (Antabuse®) or metronidazole (Flagyl®).
- You should not breast feed if you have HIV or AIDS, because you may give the infection to your baby through your breast milk.
- This medicine will not keep you from giving HIV to your partner during sex. Make sure you understand and practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Do not share needles with anyone.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. This is very important because the amount of virus in your blood may increase and become harder to treat.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Headache, lightheadedness, or dizziness.
- Numbness, tingling, burning, or pain in your hands or feet.
- Sudden and severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Burning or tingling around your mouth.
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Gaining weight around your neck, upper back, breast, face, or waist.
- Unusual or bad taste in your mouth.