Raltegravir - oral
Raltegravir - oral
Raltegravir is used with other HIV medications to help control HIV infection. It helps to decrease the amount of HIV in your body so your immune system can work better. This lowers your chance of getting HIV complications (such as new infections, cancer) and improves your quality of life. Raltegravir is known as an integrase inhibitor. It blocks the virus from growing and infecting more cells.
Raltegravir is not a cure for HIV infection. To decrease your risk of spreading HIV disease to others, do all of the following: (1) continue to take all HIV medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor, (2) always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity, and (3) do not share personal items (such as needles/syringes, toothbrushes, and razors) that may have contacted blood or other body fluids. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This product may also be used to lessen the risk of HIV infection after contact with the virus (for example, due to a needle stick). Ask your doctor for more details.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking raltegravir and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice daily.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
The manufacturer directs to swallow this medication whole. However, many similar drugs (immediate-release tablets) can be split/crushed. Follow your doctor's directions on how to take this medication.
Avoid using antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium while taking this medication. These antacids can make raltegravir work less well.
It is very important to continue taking this medication (and other HIV medications) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip any doses.
Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
Do not take less of this drug than prescribed or stop taking it (or other HIV medicines) even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Doing so may cause the amount of virus to increase and/or make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant).
For the best effect, take this medication at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.
Do not switch between the film-coated tablet, the chewable tablet, or the powder packet for oral suspension forms of raltegravir without asking your doctor or pharmacist first.
Headache, nausea, and trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
As your immune system gets stronger, it can begin to fight off infections you already had, possibly causing disease symptoms to come back. You could also have symptoms if your immune system becomes overactive. This reaction may happen at any time (soon after starting HIV treatment or many months later). Get medical help right away if you have any serious symptoms, including:
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
Changes in body fat may occur while you are taking this medication (such as increased fat in the upper back and stomach areas, decreased fat in the arms and legs). The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor, as well as the possible use of exercise to reduce this side effect.
In the US -
Before taking raltegravir, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Treatment can lower the risk of passing HIV infection to your baby, and raltegravir may be part of that treatment. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because breast milk can transmit HIV, do not breast-feed.
See also How to Use section.
A product that may interact with this drug is:
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as viral load, T-cell counts) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Keep all medical and laboratory appointments.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store in the original package at room temperature away from light and moisture. To help protect from moisture, keep the desiccant in the bottle. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Information last revised May 2019.
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