Generic Name: tipranavir, Oral capsule

Aptivus

All Brands

  • Aptivus
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for tipranavir

Oral capsule
1

Aptivus is an oral medication used with ritonavir (Norvir) and other antiretroviral drugs to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

2

You should take it only if you’ve already been treated for HIV infection and have resistance to at least one strain of the virus.

3

Common side effects can include rash and sun sensitivity, stomach problems, and fatigue.

4

Aptivus is taken twice a day, always with ritonavir. If you take it with the tablet form of ritonavir, you have to take the dose with food. Space your doses evenly.

5

This medication may increase risk of bleeding. You could have an increased risk of bleeding while taking Aptivus if you have hemophilia, have surgery or an injury, or take a blood-thinning medication.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

May cause liver toxicity. Serious liver damage, including liver damage-related deaths, have occurred in some people who have taken this drug. If you already have hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus infection, you have an increased chance of liver damage from this drug. Your doctor will want to test your liver function before and during treatment with this drug

May cause a burst blood vessel in your brain (intracranial hemorrhage). Though rare, some people have experienced intracranial hemorrhage while taking Aptivus. This occurs when a diseased blood vessel in the brain bursts, which lets blood leak into the brain. This can damage the brain cells and may be fatal.  

Risk of bleeding

You could have an increased risk of bleeding while taking Aptivus if you have hemophilia, have surgery or an injury, or take a blood-thinning medication.

Allergy warning

If you have an allergic reaction to sulfonamides or "sulfa" drugs, you might also be allergic to Aptivus. This drug contains a sulfonamide group and might also cause allergic reactions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist before taking this drug if you are sensitive to "sulfa" drugs.

Drug Features

Aptivus is a prescription drug. It is available in these forms: oral capsule and oral solution.

This drug is used as part of a combination therapy. That means you will need to take it in combination with other drugs to treat your condition.

Why It's Used

Aptivus is used in combination with ritonavir (Norvir) and other antiretroviral drugs to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

Aptivus is approved for adults and children at least 2 years old. It should be given only to people who have been previously treated for HIV infection and who have a strain of HIV that’s resistant to more than one protease inhibitor drug.

How It Works

Aptivus belongs to a class of drugs called protease inhibitors. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They are often used to treat similar conditions.

In order to insert its genetic material into your cells and make copies of itself, HIV needs to use a protein called protease. Protease inhibitors block this enzyme, which limits the virus’s ability to spread in your body.

SECTION 2 of 4

tipranavir Side Effects

Oral capsule

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects from Aptivus include:

  • rash and photosensitivity. This means you could be more likely to get sunburn from a short time in the sun.

  • diarrhea

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • fever

  • fatigue

  • headache

  • abdominal pain

  • increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels

  • increased blood sugar level. Symptoms may include thirst, fatigue, and feeling warm with dry skin. If you have diabetes, you may need to test your blood sugar level more often.

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.

  • immune reconstitution syndrome: In this condition, your recovering immune system may cause your body to have an enhanced immune response to remnants of past infections.

  • liver toxicity: Symptoms include:

    • nausea
    • tiredness
    • yellow skin or eyes
    • stomach swelling.

    Some people have developed liver damage. If you have hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus infection, you’re at increased risk. Your doctor may test your liver function before and during your treatment with this drug.

  • burst blood vessel in the brain (intracranial hemorrhage): Though rare, some people have experienced this while taking Aptivus. The condition can damage brain cells and may be fatal. Symptoms may include:

    • severe headache
    • loss or change in consciousness
    • seizures
    • nausea
    • vomiting
  • fat redistribution: Some people experience a redistribution or accumulation of fat around the stomach, on the back, and can have a loss of fat in the limbs and face.

  • increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels

  • increased blood sugar level: Symptoms may include:

    • thirst
    • fatigue
    • feeling warm with dry skin.

    If you have diabetes, you may need to test your blood sugar level more often.

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Aptivus 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

tipranavir May Interact with Other Medications

Oral capsule

Aptivus 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

Antibiotics, drugs to treat infections
  • clarithromycin (Biaxin)
  • metronidazole (Flagyl)

Antidepressants, mental health drugs
  • desipramine 
  • disulfiram (Antabuse)
  • fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • paroxetine (Paxil)
  • quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • sertraline (Zoloft)
  • trazodone (Desyrel)

Antifungal drugs
  • fluconazole (Diflucan)
  • ketoconazole
  • itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • voriconazole (Vfend)

Antiretroviral (HIV) drugs

These include:

  • abacavir (Ziagen)
  • atazanavir (Reyataz)
  • didanosine (Videx)
  • enfuvirtide (Fuzeon) 
  • etravirine (Intelence)
  • fosamprenavir (Lexiva)
  • lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra)
  • raltegravir (Isentress)
  • saquinavir (Invirase)
  • zidovudine (Retrovir)

Asthma drugs, other inhaled drugs
  • fluticasone (Flonase)
  • salmeterol (Serevent)

Blood thinner, anticoagulant
  • warfarin (Coumadin)

Cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • rosuvastatin (Crestor)

Diabetes drugs
  • glimepiride (Amaryl)
  • glipizide (Glucotrol)
  • glyburide (DiaBeta)
  • pioglitazone (Actos)
  • repaglinide (Prandin)
  • tolbutamide  

Epilepsy drugs
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • phenobarbital
  • phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • valproic acid (Depakote, Depakene)

Erectile dysfunction drugs
  • sildenafil (Viagra)
  • tadalafil (Cialis)
  • vardenafil (Levitra)

Gout drug
  • colchicine (Colcrys) 

Heart drugs

These include calcium channel blockers and drugs for heart arrhythmias, such as:

  • diltiazem (Cardizem, Tiazac)
  • felodipine
  • nicardipine (Cardene)
  • nisoldipine (Sular)
  • verapamil (Calan)

Hepatitis drugs
  • boceprevir (Victrelis) for hepatitis C virus infection
  • telaprevir (Incivek) for hepatitis C virus infection

Oral contraceptives/hormones
  • ethinyl estradiol

Pain drugs

These include:

  • Buprenorphine/naloxone
  • meperidine (Demerol)

Post-transplant drugs (immunosuppressants)
  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral)
  • tacrolimus (Prograf)
  • sirolimus (Rapamune)

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 sulfonamide "sulfa" allergy

If you have an allergic reaction to sulfonamides or "sulfa" drugs, you might also be allergic to Aptivus. This drug contains a sulfonamide group and might also cause allergic reactions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist before taking this drug if you are sensitive to "sulfa" drugs.

People with diabetes

This drug can increase your blood sugar level. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar level more carefully. If you don’t have diabetes, you could have an increased risk of developing diabetes while taking this drug.

People with hemophilia

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

People with high cholesterol, triglycerides

This drug can increase cholesterol and triglycerides. Your doctor will want to do a blood test to check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels before and during treatment with this drug.

Pregnant women

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

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to fetuses of mothers who take the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Even though there are risks, sometimes the benefits of taking the drug outweigh possible risks. If you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking Aptivus.

Women who are nursing

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that you should not breastfeed your infant if you have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. There is a risk of passing HIV to your baby.

Additionally, It isn’t known if this drug passes through the breast milk or if it can have negative affects on your baby.

For Seniors

If you are aged 65 years or older your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose so that too much of this drug does not build up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be toxic.

For Children

There is not enough evidence to know if this drug is safe and effective in children younger than 2 years.

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if you think you’re experiencing:

  • 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

Aptivus is related to sulfa drugs. If you’ve had a rash or allergy from sulfa drugs, talk to your doctor before taking Aptivus. If you take Aptivus and think you’re having an allergic reaction, see a doctor right away or call 9-1-1.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • rash
  • itching
  • wheezing
  • swelling
  • skin damage
SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take tipranavir (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: Aptivus

Form: Oral Capsule, Oral Solution
Strength: Oral Capsule 250 mg, Oral solution 100 mg/mL
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

500 mg (two 250-mg capsules), taken two times per day in combination with 200 mg of ritonavir.

Child Dosage (ages 2-17 years)

The recommended dose is 14 mg/kg, taken twice per day, not to exceed the maximum dose of 500 mg, twice per day in combination with ritonavir. Your child’s doctor will decide the correct dose for your child.

Child Dosage (ages 0-23 months)

Dosage for children younger than 2 years has not been established.

Special considerations

Liver Disease: Aptivus is processed in the liver. If you have liver disease, you may not be able to take Aptivus. Your doctor will decide if you are able to take this drug, if a dose change is needed, or if a different drug is a better choice for you

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 long-term treatment and long-term effort. If you don’t take this drug exactly how your doctor prescribes, your HIV infection can become worse.

If You Stop and Start Again

If you stop taking Aptivus and then start it again, you may have to adjust to all the side effects again. You could also have an increased risk of an allergic reaction.

If You Don’t Take It on Schedule

Taking your drug at the same time every day helps to keep the same amount of drug in your body. This increases your body’s ability to keep your HIV infection under control. If you don’t take the drug consistently, the level of the drug in your body fluctuates. This could cause the drug to lose effectiveness.

If You Miss a Dose

If you’re just a few hours late for your dose, take your dose with food. If it’s close to the time for your next dose, wait and take a single dose with food at your usual dosage time. Take just one dose at a time. Never try to catch up by taking two doses 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:

  • symptoms
  • virus count. A virus count measures the number of copies of HIV 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.

Aptivus is a long-term treatment.

It’s usually easiest to take the drug at mealtime

If you take Aptivus with ritonavir capsules or ritonavir solution, you can take Aptivus with or without meals.

If you take Aptivus with ritonavir tablets, you must take them both with meals.

Space your doses evenly and take them at the same time of day every day

Taking it at breakfast and at dinner would be a good schedule.

Do not cut or crush Aptivus capsules

If you have trouble swallowing the capsules, ask your doctor or pharmacist about the oral solution.

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

If you need to, you can briefly store the solution in temperatures from 59°F (15ºC) to 86°F (30°C).  Don’t refrigerate or freeze the solution. Once you open the bottle, use it within 60 days to ensure that it’s fresh.

Before opening the bottle for the first time, store Aptivus capsules in a refrigerator: 36–46°F (2–8°C). After opening the bottle, store it at room temperature: 68–77°F (20–25°C). Once the bottle is opened, use the capsules within 60 days to ensure they’re fresh. If you need to, you can briefly store the drug in temperatures from 59°F (15ºC) to 86°F (30°C).

The storage requirements may make travel while taking this drug challenging

The drug must be kept cool and never left in luggage, a hot car, or anywhere that is not air-conditioned. You’ll need to use the opened bottle within 60 days, and unopened bottles have to be refrigerated.

Self-Management

Your blood sugar level may go up while taking the drug. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar level carefully while taking Aptivus, especially when you first start taking it.

Clinical Monitoring

CD4 and Virus Count: Your doctor will check your CD4 count and virus count before and during your Aptivus treatment to see how well it is working for you.

The virus count measures the number of copies of the virus in your blood. The CD4 count measures the number of CD4 white blood cells in your blood. Increased CD4 count and decreased virus count are signs that the drug is working.

Liver Function Tests: Your doctor will do liver function blood tests before and during your treatment. Some people have had liver damage. If you have hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus infection, you’re at higher risk of liver damage from taking this drug. 

Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Tests: Your doctor may check your blood sugar level and do tests for diabetes. They may also check your cholesterol level before and during treatment.

Aptivus may increase your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. If your blood sugar level increases, you may need to start monitoring it with a home glucose monitor.

Sun Sensitivity

Aptivus may cause sun sensitivity. Your skin may become more likely to get burned from even short exposure to the sun. To protect yourself, always use sun block with a high sun protection factor (SPF) when you’re outside. If you have sensitive skin, your risk of this sun reaction may be greater.

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 a HIV pharmacy in your area.

Hidden Costs

If you have diabetes, you may need to monitor your blood sugar level more closely while taking Aptivus. You may need additional blood glucose testing supplies and more lab work while taking the drug.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for Aptivus. Your doctor may need to do paperwork for you, which could take 1–2 weeks.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There may be other drugs and combinations that can 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 Philip Gregory, PharmD, MS, FACN on April 21, 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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