Generic Name: darunavir, Oral tablet

Prezista

All Brands

  • Prezista
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for darunavir

Oral tablet
1

Prezista is used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in adults and children ages 3 and older. It’s always given with ritonavir and other HIV medications as part of combination therapy.

2

Common side effects may include abdominal pain, high cholesterol or triglycerides, changes in fat distribution, and others.

3

Prezista has many possible drug interactions, including interactions with acid reducing medications and common herbs.

4

Your dose will depend on your previous HIV treatment and will be determined by your doctor.

5

If you don’t take this medication as prescribed, you risk making your HIV infection worse.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

May cause hepatitis

Prezista may damage your liver, causing hepatitis. If you already have hepatitis, you’ll need to be closely monitored while taking Prezista.

Severe skin reactions

Severe skin reactions have been reported. This may be a sign that your body is beginning to break down inside, which can be life-threatening. This severe reaction may include red welts or peeling skin that causes bleeding or muscle exposure. Go to an emergency room right away if you have a severe rash.

Diabetes and high blood sugar

Prezista may lead to the development of diabetes. If you already have diabetes, you could have increased blood sugar (hyperglycemia) while taking Prezista. Signs of hyperglycemia include tiredness, thirst, and weight loss.

Drug Features

Prezista is a prescription drug. It’s available in these forms: oral tablet, oral suspension.

Prezista is used as part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs.

Why It's Used

Prezista is used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It doesn’t cure HIV infection, but it helps to control it. It’s used in combination with ritonavir (Norvir) and other antiretroviral drugs.

More Details

How It Works

Prezista belongs to a class of drugs called protease inhibitors. HIV needs an enzyme called protease to make copies of itself. Protease inhibitors block the enzyme, which helps to limit the virus’s ability to replicate and spread in your body.

Why It's Used

Prezista is used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It doesn’t cure HIV infection, but it helps to control it. It’s used in combination with ritonavir (Norvir) and other antiretroviral drugs. It must be used with other drugs to be effective.

Prezista is approved to treat HIV infection in adults and in children ages 3 years and older. Children under 3 years old shouldn’t use Prezista. Research studies show an increased risk of serious reactions in children under 3.

SECTION 2 of 4

darunavir Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

Common side effects that may occur with Prezista include:

  • abdominal pain

  • high cholesterol and triglycerides

  • changes in the distribution of body fat, such as an increasing amount of fat on your neck

  • diarrhea

  • headache

  • nausea/vomiting

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • severe skin reaction. Symptoms may include:

    • blistering
    • redness
    • open sores (ulcerations)
  • bleeding with hemophilia. If you have bleeding and hemophilia, get help right away. Taking Prezista increases your risk of bleeding.

  • diabetes. Symptoms may include:

    • high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
    • tiredness
    • thirst
    • weight loss
  • rash. If you have a sulfa allergy, this could be an allergic reaction. Stop taking the drug and call your doctor.  If the rash is severe or happens suddenly and includes fever, hives, or breathing problems, call 9-1-1 or go to an emergency room.

  • signs of immune reconstitution syndrome (IRC), including symptoms of past infections. In IRC, your improved immune system causes past infections to reappear and affect your body again. Examples include fungal infections, pneumonia, and tuberculosis.

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Prezista doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

darunavir May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Prezista can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Acid-reducing drugs

These include: 

  • omeprazole
  • ranitidine

Antibiotics and other drugs to treat infections

These include:

  • artemether and lumefantrine (Coartem) for malaria
  • clarithromycin
  • rifabutin
  • rifampin

Antidepressants

These include:

  • paroxetine
  • sertraline

Antifungal drugs

These include:

  • ketoconazole
  • itraconazole

Antiretroviral human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drugs

These include:

  • atazanavir (Reyataz)
  • indinavir (Crixivan)
  • lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra)
  • maraviroc (Selzentry)
  • ritonavir (Norvir)
  • saquinavir (Invirase)

Blood thinner, or anticoagulant
  • warfarin

Benign prostate enlargement (BPH) drug
  • alfuzosin (Uroxatral)

Cholesterol-lowering drugs

These include: 

  • atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • pravastatin (Pravachol)

Epilepsy drugs

These include:

  • carbamazepine
  • phenobarbital
  • phenytoin

Erectile dysfunction drug
  • sildenafil

Heart drugs

These include calcium channel blockers and drugs for heart arrhythmias. Examples are:

  • amiodarone
  • digoxin
  • diltiazem
  • nifedipine
  • verapamil

Hepatitis drugs

These include:

  • boceprevir (Victrelis) for hepatitis C
  • telaprevir (Incivek) for hepatitis C

Migraine drugs with ergotamine

These include:

  • dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Embolex, Migranal),
  • ergotamine (Cafergot, Ergomar)
  • methylergonovine

Oral contraceptives/hormones

These include: 

  • ethinyl estradiol
  • norethindrone

Pain drugs

These include:

  • buprenorphine/naloxone
  • methadone

Post-transplant drugs (immunosuppressants)

These include:

  • cyclosporine
  • tacrolimus
  • sirolimus (Rapamycin)

Sleeping medications

These include: 

  • oral midazolam (Versed)
  • triazolam (Halcion)

Tourette’s syndrome drug
  • pimozide (Orap)

Herbs
  • St. John’s wort

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with hemophilia

If you have hemophilia, you could have a higher risk of bleeding while taking Prezista.

People with diabetes

If you have diabetes, Prezista can lead to an increase in your blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Monitor your blood sugar carefully to see how you react, especially during the first few weeks.

People with hepatitis

If you have hepatitis, Prezista can make your hepatitis worse. You shouldn’t take Prezista if you have severe hepatitis. Your doctor should monitor your liver function while you take the drug.

Pregnant women

Prezista is a pregnancy category C drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans.

Prezista should be used during pregnancy only if the benefits outweigh the potential risks. If you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant, talk to a doctor before taking Prezista.

Women who are nursing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that women with HIV shouldn’t breastfeed, because HIV may be passed to a baby through breast milk.

In addition, women shouldn’t breastfeed while taking Prezista. It isn’t known if the drug passes through breast milk. If it does, the baby could have side effects from the drug.

For Children

Prezista shouldn’t be used in children younger than 3 years old. In young lab animals, the drug has caused serious reactions and death.

Allergies

You may be allergic to Prezista if you’re allergic to sulfa drugs. These include sulfamethoxazole, sulfasalazine, and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra). Talk to your doctor before taking Prezista.

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take darunavir (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

Brand: Prezista

Form: Oral tablet
Strength: 75 mg, 150 mg, 600 mg, 800 mg
Form: Oral suspension
Strength: 100 mg/mL
Adult Dosage (ages 18-64 years)
  • If you’re taking the oral tablet, your dose will depend on your previous treatments for HIV. Your doctor will determine your dose. The adult dose may be one 800 mg tablet taken once a day or one 600 mg tablet taken twice a day.
  • No prior HIV treatment: Take one 800 mg tablet once per day. Each dose is taken with ritonavir 100 mg once per day.
  • Prior HIV treatment and no darunavir-resistance substitutions: Take one 800 mg tablet once per day. Each dose is taken with ritonavir 100 mg once per day.
  • Prior HIV treatment and at least one darunavir-resistance substitution: Take one 600 mg tablet twice per day. Each dose is taken with ritonavir 100 mg twice per day.
Child Dosage (ages 0-2 years)

Using Prezista may be harmful and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 3 years.

Child Dosage (ages 3-17 years)

Your doctor will provide a dose based on your child’s weight.

Senior Dosage (ages 65 years and older)

There are no specific recommendations for senior dosing. Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of the drug to be higher than normal. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or you may need a different schedule.

Special considerations

A liquid preparation is available for children and adults who can’t take the tablet.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Keeping human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) under control requires long-term treatment and long-term effort. There can be very serious health consequences if you don’t take this drug exactly how your doctor tells you.

If You Stop Taking It or Miss Doses

If you stop taking this medication or miss doses, your HIV can become worse. You may have many more serious infections and HIV-related problems.

If You Don’t Take It on Schedule

Taking your drug at the same time every day increases your ability to keep the virus under control. If you don’t, you risk worsened infection.

What To Do if I Miss a Dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it's just a few hours until your next dose, wait to take a single dose at the usual time.

Take just one dose at a time. Never try to catch up by taking two tablets at once. This could result in toxic side effects.

How Can I Tell if the Drug Is Working?

To see how well your treatment is working, your doctor will check your:

  • virus count. A virus count measures the number of copies of the HIV virus in your body.
  • CD4 count. A CD4 count measures the amount of CD4 cells in your body. CD4 cells are white blood cells that fight infection. An increased CD4 count is a sign that your HIV treatment is working.

Prezista is a long-term drug treatment.

If you take Prezista twice a day, space the doses evenly

A good schedule may be to take it after breakfast and after dinner.

Prezista tablets are film-coated, so you shouldn’t cut or crush them

If you can’t swallow the tablets, there is a liquid oral suspension available.

Store at 77°F (25°C)

The drug can be in temperatures as low as 59°F (15°C) and as high as 86°F (30°C) for short periods of time. Keep the bottle tightly closed and away from light and moisture.

Note: Be careful of moist environments, including bathrooms. To keep drugs away from moisture, store them somewhere other than your bathroom and any other damp location.

Clinical Monitoring

To see how well your treatment is working, your doctor will check your:

  • virus count. A virus count measures the number of copies of the HIV virus in your body.
  • CD4 count. A CD4 count measures the amount of CD4 cells in your body. CD4 cells are white blood cells that fight infection. An increased CD4 count is a sign that your HIV treatment is working.

Your doctor will also check your liver function before starting Prezista and periodically during treatment. Some people have had changes in liver enzyme blood tests. If you have hepatitis B or hepatitis C, you’re at higher risk. 

Your doctor may also check your blood sugar and perform other tests for diabetes.

Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead

If you only need a few tablets, you should call and ask if your pharmacy dispenses only a small number of tablets. Some pharmacies can't dispense only part of a bottle.

This drug is often available from specialty pharmacies through your insurance plan. These pharmacies operate like mail order pharmacies and ship the drug to you.

In larger cities, there will often be HIV pharmacies where you can have your prescriptions filled. Ask your doctor if there's an HIV pharmacy in your area.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for Prezista. Your doctor may need to do paperwork for you. This could take a week or two.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs and combinations that can treat HIV. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

What does the pill look like?

Showing - out of 6

Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with Susan J. Bliss, RPh, MBA

Medically reviewed by Alan Carter, PharmD and Stacey Boudreaux, PharmD on February 20, 2015

Send us your feedback

Thank you.

Your message has been sent.

We're sorry, an error occurred.

We are unable to collect your feedback at this time. However, your feedback is important to us. Please try again later.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

Read This Next

Black Cumin: Which Is Which?
Black Cumin: Which Is Which?
What Is Erythritol?
What Is Erythritol?
How to Perform Lymphatic Drainage Massage
How to Perform Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement