INVIRASE (Saquinavir)
INVIRASE (Saquinavir)
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INVIRASE (Saquinavir)

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What is this medication?

INVIRASE (Saquinavir)
Antiretroviral, Protease Inhibitor (Anti-HIV)

INVIRASE (Saquinavir) is indicated for the treatment of HIV-1 Infection.

How does this medication work? 

INVIRASE (Saquinavir) binds to the site of HIV-1 protease activity and inhibits cleavage of viral Gag-Pol polyprotein precursors into individual functional proteins required for infectious HIV. This results in the formation of immature, noninfectious viral particles.

How should I take this medication? 

Oral: Take 500mg to 1000mg twice daily.

Note: ECG should be done prior to starting therapy; do not initiate therapy if pretreatment QT interval ≥450 msec. Saquinavir should always be used with concomitant ritonavir; cobicistat is not interchangeable with ritonavir to increase systemic exposure.

How to Take: Take within 2 hours after a full meal. Patients unable to swallow capsules may open capsules and mix contents with 15 mL of syrup (or sorbitol if diabetic or glucose intolerant) or with 3 teaspoons of jam. Mixture should be stirred for 30 to 60 seconds and then administered entirely. Suspension should be at room temperature prior to administration. Do not crush tablets.

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Before using INVIRASE (Saquinavir), make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, pre-existing medical conditions and activities you perform. Saquinavir can prolong the QT interval, potentially leading to torsade de pointes, additionally can prolong the PR interval, potentially leading to heart block. Saquinavir may cause redistribution of fat characterized by the development of a buffalo hump, peripheral wasting with increased abdominal girth, cushingoid appearance.  Patients may develop immune reconstitution syndrome resulting in the occurrence of an inflammatory response to an indolent or residual opportunistic infection during initial HIV treatment or activation of autoimmune disorders.  Invirase may cause photosensitivity reactions (eg, exposure to sunlight may cause severe sunburn, skin rash, redness, or itching); advise patient to avoid exposure to sunlight and artificial light sources and to wear protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and lip sunscreen (SPF ≥15). Saquinavir should be used with caution in patients with diabetes, electrolyte imbalances, hemophilia A or B, and hepatic impairment.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Dry lips/skin, eczema, pruritus, rash, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, diabetes mellitus/hyperglycemia, lipodystrophy, bronchitis, influenza, pneumonia, sinusitis, back pain, fatigue, fever.

Note this is not a complete list of side effects for INVIRASE (Saquinavir), only common ones.