Drugs A - Z
Saquinavir Mesylate Oral tablet
Generic Name: saquinavir
What is this medicine?SAQUINAVIR (sa KWIN a veer) is an antiretroviral medicine. It is used with other medicines to treat HIV. This medicine is not a cure for HIV. It will not stop the spread of HIV to others.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- heart disease
- history of irregular heartbeat
- history of low levels of calcium, magnesium, or potassium in the blood
- liver disease
- an unusual or allergic reaction to saquinavir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine with food. Take this medicine with ritonavir at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. For your anti-HIV therapy to work as well as possible, take each dose exactly as prescribed. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine even if you feel better. Skipping doses may make the HIV virus resistant to this medicine and other medicines. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- arsenic trioxide
- certain medicines for cholesterol like cerivastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin
- garlic supplements
- medicines for headaches like dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine
- medicines for irregular heart beat like amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, flecainide, ibutilide, lidocaine, procainamide, propafenone, sotalol, quinidine
- red yeast rice
- St. John's wort
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- certain medicines for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
- female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections
- medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
- medicines for diabetes
- medicines for erectile dysfunction
- medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
- medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
- medicines for stomach problems like esomeprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole, rabeprazole, ranitidine
- other medicines for HIV
What should I watch for while using this medicine?Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Discuss any new symptoms with your doctor. You will need to have important blood work done while on this medicine.
HIV is spread to others through sexual or blood contact. Talk to your doctor about how to stop the spread of HIV.
Birth control pills may not work properly while you are taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor about using an extra method of birth control. Women who can still have children must use a reliable form of barrier contraception, like a condom or diaphragm.
This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- fast, irregular heartbeat
- feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
- unusually weak or tired
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- increased hunger or thirst
- increased urination
- nausea, vomiting
- stomach pain
- weight gain around waist, back, or thinning of face, arms, legs
Where should I keep my medicine?Keep out of the reach of children.
Store tightly closed at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from moisture. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.