Generic Name: indinavir, Oral capsule

Chemet,Crixivan

All Brands

  • Chemet
  • Crixivan
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for indinavir

Oral capsule
1

Crixivan treats human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. It must be combined with other antiretroviral drugs to make a complete treatment for HIV infection.

2

Always take this drug with a full glass of water, and be sure to drink at least 6 full glasses of water each day while taking it. Drinking enough water can reduce your risk of kidney stones.

3

This drug has many drug interactions. Review all your medications with your doctor and pharmacist before you take it.

4

Side effects can include kidney disease, liver disease, and anemia. You may need extra monitoring for these conditions while taking this drug.

5

Your blood sugar can go up while you take Crixivan. If you have diabetes, it’s important to check your blood sugar more frequently.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

May cause kidney disease

Crixivan may cause kidney disease, including kidney stones and inflammation of the kidney (interstitial nephritis). It’s crucial to drink enough water every day to help prevent kidney disease.

Symptoms of nephritis may include:

  • fatigue
  • fever
  • frequent need to urinate

Symptoms of kidney stones may include:

  • middle to lower stomach or back pain
  • blood in your urine

If you think you have a kidney stone, call your doctor right away. 

May lead to diabetes

You could develop diabetes while taking Crixivan. If you already have diabetes, your blood sugar level could go up. Signs may include thirst, fatigue, and weight loss. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar level more often while taking this drug.

May cause hemolytic anemia

Hemolytic anemia causes your body to attack your red blood cells. Symptoms may include:

  • darkened urine
  • fatigue
  • pale skin
  • racing heart
  • shortness of breath
  • yellowing of your skin

Hepatitis and cirrhosis warning

Hepatitis and cirrhosis, both diseases that affect the liver, have occurred in people taking this drug. Call your doctor right away if you experience:

  • loss of appetite
  • nausea or vomiting
  • dark urine
  • stomach pain
  • yellowing of skin and eyes
  • swelling of your stomach
  • easy bruising
  • itching

Drug Features

Crixivan is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral capsule.

Crixivan is used as part of a combination therapy. That means you’ll need to take it in combination with other drugs to treat your condition.

Why It's Used

Crixivan is used to treat HIV infection. However, it isn’t a complete treatment on its own. The drug has to be used in combination with other antiretroviral drugs to form a complete treatment for HIV infection.

How It Works

Crixivan limits HIV’s ability to make copies of itself and spread throughout your body.

More Details

How It Works

Crixivan limits HIV’s ability to make copies of itself and spread throughout your body.

Crixivan belongs to a class of drugs called protease inhibitors. HIV needs an enzyme called protease to insert its genetic information into your cells and make copies of itself. By blocking the enzyme, protease inhibitors help to limit the virus’s ability to spread in your body.

SECTION 2 of 4

indinavir Side Effects

Oral capsule

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with Crixivan include:

  • headache

  • dizziness

  • itching

  • nausea and vomiting

  • cough

  • rash

If these side effects don’t go away or are bothersome, call your doctor.

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.

  • hemolytic anemia. Symptoms may include:

    • dark urine
    • fatigue
    • pale skin
    • shortness of breath
    • yellowing skin
  • hepatitis or cirrhosis. Symptoms may include:

    • loss of appetite
    • nausea or vomiting
    • dark urine
    • stomach pain
    • yellowing of skin and eyes
    • swelling of the stomach
    • easy bruising
    • itching
  • allergy or hypersensitivity reactions. Symptoms may include:

    • rash
    • hair loss
    • curling of straight hair
  • kidney stones. Symptoms may include:

    • middle to lower stomach or back pain
    • blood in your urine
  • interstitial nephritis. Symptoms may include:

    • fever
    • pain in your back
    • needing to rush to the bathroom often
  • diabetes. Signs may include:

    • thirst
    • fatigue
    • weight loss
  • rhabdomyolysis. This condition involves the breakdown of muscle tissue. If you experience this while also taking a statin drug for cholesterol, stop taking Crixivan and see a doctor right away. Symptoms may include:

    • muscle aches or pain
    • dark urine
    • reduced urine output
    • weakness
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Crixivan does not 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

indinavir May Interact with Other Medications

Oral capsule

Crixivan 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.

Food Interactions

High fat meals can prevent your body from absorbing Crixivan, which may cause it not to work as well.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Enlarged prostate drug
  • alfuzosin (Uroxatral)

Alfuzosin is a drug used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. One of its side effects is dizziness when you stand up. Crixivan can increase the amount of alfuzosin in your body. This increases your risk of dizziness and fainting. Don’t take alfuzosin with Crixivan.

Antiarrhythmic
  • amiodarone (Cordarone)

Amiodarone is a drug used to control heart rhythm. Crixivan can increase the amount of amiodarone in your body. This increases your risk of side effects from amiodarone, including heart rhythm problems. Don’t take amiodarone with Crixivan.

Antibiotic
  • rifabutin (Mycobutin)

Crixivan can increase the amount of rifabutin in your body. This increases your risk of side effects, including stomach pain and taste disturbances. Rifabutin can decrease the amount of Crixivan in your body, potentially causing Crixivan not to work. If you take both of these medications, you’ll need dose adjustments.

Antibiotic for tuberculosis
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifamate, Rifater)

Rifampin can decrease the amount of Crixivan in your body. This could potentially cause it not to work. Don’t take rifampin with Crixivan.

Antifungal drugs
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • itraconazole (Sporonox)

Some antifungal drugs can increase the amount of Crixivan in your body. This increases your risk of side effects, including kidney and liver problems. If you take antifungal drugs with Crixivan, you’ll need dose adjustments.

Cholesterol lowering drugs (statins)

These drugs include:

  • atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • lovastatin (Mevacor)
  • rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • simvastatin (Zocor)

These drugs can interact with Crixivan, but your doctor may still prescribe them for you and monitor you carefully. Watch for signs of muscle aching, dark urine, and weakness. If you experience these symptoms and are taking a statin with Crixivan, see your doctor right away.

Drug to increase stomach emptying
  • cisapride (Propulsid)

Crixivan can increase the amount of cisapride in your body. This increases your risk of side effects, including heart rhythm problems.

Erectile dysfunction drugs

These drugs include:

  • sildenafil (Viagra)
  • tadalafil (Cialis)
  • vardenafil (Levitra)

Crixivan can increase the amount of erectile dysfunction drugs in your body. This increases your risk of side effects, including dizziness, fainting, and vision changes.

Epilepsy drugs

These include:

  • phenobarbital
  • phenytoin
  • carbamazepine

Certain epilepsy drugs can decrease the amount of Crixivan in your body. This could potentially cause it not to work.

Ergot derivatives

These include:

  • dihydroergotamine
  • ergonovine
  • ergotamine
  • methylergonovine

Crixivan can increase the amount of ergot derivatives in your body. This increases your risk of side effects, including heart rhythm problems. Don’t take Crixivan with ergot derivatives.

Heart disease drugs, calcium channel blockers

These drugs include:

  • amlodipine (Norvasc)
  • felodipine (Plendil)

Crixivan can increase the amount of calcium channel blockers in your body. This increases your risk of side effects, including dizziness and swelling of your feet and hands.

Herbal product
  • St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum)

St. John’s wort can decrease the amount of Crixivan in your body. This could potentially cause it not to work. Don’t take St. John’s wort with Crixivan.

Other human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drugs

These include:

  • atazanavir (Reyataz)
  • delavirdine (Rescriptor)
  • didanosine (Videx)
  • efavirenz (Sustiva)

Taking Crixivan with other HIV drugs can increase or decrease the amount of Crixivan in your body. Taking these drugs with Crixivan can increase your chance of side effects or treatment failure. 

Pulmonary arterial hypertension drug
  • sildenafil (Revatio)

Crixivan can increase the amount of sildenafil in your body. This increases your risk of side effects, including dizziness, fainting, and vision changes. Don’t take Crixivan if you’re taking sildenafil for pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Sedative
  • midazolam (Versed)

Midazolam is an IV drug. Crixivan can increase the amount of midazolam in your body. This increases your risk of excessive sedation. Tell your doctor if you’re taking Crixivan before any surgical procedure.

Sleeping pills and anxiety medications

These drugs include:

  • triazolam (Halcion)
  • alprazolam (Xanax)

Crixivan can increase the amount of certain sleeping pills and anxiety medications in your body. This increases your risk of side effects, including excessive drowsiness and slowed breathing.

Tourette’s syndrome drug
  • pimozide (Orap)

Crixivan can increase the amount of pimozide in your body. This increases your risk for side effects, including dizziness and sleepiness.

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 liver disease

If you have liver disease, you may need a smaller dose of Crixivan. Certain liver diseases can limit how well your liver can process drugs. Talk to your doctor before taking this treatment.

People with kidney disease

If you have kidney disease, talk to your doctor before taking Crixivan. You may need extra monitoring, including blood or urine tests. Report any new side effects to your doctor right away. Examples include:

  • muscle pain
  • dark urine
  • pain in your side or back
  • fever
  • needing to rush to the bathroom more often

People with hemophilia

If you have hemophilia, taking Crixivan increases your risk of bleeding. Talk to your doctor before taking this drug.

People with diabetes

If you have diabetes, Crixivan can raise your blood sugar level. Monitor your blood sugar level more often, especially during the first few weeks you take the drug.

Pregnant women

Crixivan 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.

Crixivan should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are nursing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women with HIV shouldn’t breastfeed to avoid passing the virus to their babies.

Additionally, studies of the drug in animals show it can pass to the baby through breast milk. It’s not known if the drug passes through human breast milk.

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if you experience:

  • fever
  • weakness
  • chills
  • night sweats
  • sore throat
  • joint pain

These symptoms may be a sign the drug isn’t working, and you may need a different treatment.

Allergies

Allergy and drug hypersensitivity reactions are possible with Crixivan. Symptoms may include:

  • rash
  • hair loss
  • curling of straight hair
SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take indinavir (Dosage)

Oral capsule

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) infection

Brand: Crixivan

Form: Oral Capsule
Strength: 200 mg and 400 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18-64 years)
  • The usual dose is one 800 mg capsule (or two 400 mg capsules) taken by mouth every 8 hours.
  • If you’re taking other HIV drugs, your doctor may reduce the dose of Crixivan to prevent side effects.
Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children under the age of 18 years.

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

Kidney Disease: Crixivan hasn’t been studied in people with kidney disease. There are several warnings about possible kidney health effects from the drug, including kidney stones and kidney inflammation (interstitial nephritis). Talk to your doctor before taking Crixivan.

Liver Disease: Crixivan hasn’t been studied in people with liver disease. There are several warnings about liver disease and liver health effects from the drug, including possible hepatitis and cirrhosis. Talk to your doctor before taking Crixivan.

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 HIV infection under control requires lifelong treatment. There can be serious health consequences if you don’t take this drug exactly how your doctor tells you.

If You Don’t Take It at All

If you don’t take this drug at all, your HIV infection will eventually reduce your immunity to a point that your body won’t be able to defend itself against many types of infections. You may not be able to fight infections that are commonly cured in people who don’t have HIV infection.

If You Stop or Miss Doses

If you stop taking this medication, miss doses, or don’t take it on schedule, the amount of medication in your body fluctuates. This can allow the HIV in your body to become resistant to the drug, which means the drug stops working.

If You Don’t Take It on Schedule

Taking this drug at the same time every day keeps a constant amount of the drug in your body. This helps make the drug as effective as possible at keeping the virus under control.

What To Do if I Miss a Dose

If it has been more than 2 hours since your missed dose, wait and take your next dose at the usual time. If it’s less than 2 hours since your usual dosing time, take the missed dose and go back to your usual schedule.

Never take two doses at once to try and catch up. You could risk more serious 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 HIV in your body.
  • CD4 cell count. A CD4 cell count measures the number 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.

Crixivan is a long-term drug.

Important Considerations for Taking Crixivan
do not take with food In general, you shouldn’t take Crixivan with food See Details
clock Take Crixivan every 8 hours. Take it on a consistent schedule
do not crush Don’t cut or crush the oral capsule
storage Store at room temperature: 68–77°F (20–25°C) See Details
refillable prescription Prescription is refillable
self-care Self-Management See Details
clinical monitoring Clinical Monitoring See Details
diet Avoid taking the drug with a full, high-fat meal
not usually stocked Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead See Details

In general, you shouldn’t take Crixivan with food

The fat in food can interfere with the drug’s absorption into your body. You should take it at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a full meal to prevent the interaction with food. 

You can take it with a glass of water and light foods that aren’t fatty, such as toast with jelly or corn flakes with skim milk. For further specifics on taking the drug with food, see the manufacturer’s complete label.

Store at room temperature: 68–77°F (20–25°C)

Keep the capsules in their original bottle and tightly closed. Leave the small desiccant (the packet that soaks up extra moisture) in the bottle.

Self-Management

Crixivan can raise your blood sugar level. If you have diabetes, you’ll need to check your blood sugar more often.

If you don’t have diabetes, your doctor will monitor your blood sugar level. You may have to start monitoring your blood sugar level at home.

Clinical Monitoring

Taking indinavir may include more regular lab work than taking some other HIV drugs. You may need to have periodic urine and blood tests to check your:

  • kidney function
  • liver function
  • cholesterol

Before starting. Before you start this drug, your doctor may check your:

  • kidney function
  • liver function
  • cholesterol level
  • blood sugar level

Complete blood count. Your doctor may periodically test your complete blood count to monitor for anemia or a low red blood cell count.

Red and white blood cells are made by your bone marrow. If you have a reduction in bone marrow production, your doctor may monitor your red and white blood cell counts very closely.

CD4 and virus count. Before and during treatment, 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.

Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead

If you only need a few capsules, you should call and ask if your pharmacy dispenses only a small number of capsules. 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.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat HIV infection. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.


Show Sources

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

Medically reviewed by Darren Hein, PharmD (Creighton) on April 20, 2015

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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.

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