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No generic medication is available for Invirase (Saquinavir Mesylate)
What Invirase is and what it is used for
Invirase contains the active substance saquinavir which is an antiviral agent. It is a member of a class of medicines called protease inhibitors. It is for the treatment of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Invirase is used by HIV-1-infected adults. Invirase is prescribed for use in combination with ritonavir (Norvir) and other antiretroviral medicines.
How to take Invirase
Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist
if you are not sure. Invirase comes as a 500 mg film-coated tablet or a 200 mg capsule (see Package
Leaflet for Invirase 200 mg capsules). Your doctor will prescribe Invirase in combination with
ritonavir (Norvir) and other HIV medicines.
How to take
• Take Invirase at the same time as your ritonavir (Norvir) capsules.
• Take your Invirase film-coated tablets with or after food.
• Swallow them whole with water. How much to take Standard dose
• Take two 500 mg film-coated tablets of Invirase twice a day.
• Take one 100 mg capsule of ritonavir (Norvir) twice a day. 5 uk-mt-pil-invirase-clean-180809-500mg-tabs If this is your first medicine for HIV or the first time you are taking ritonavir (Norvir) You need to take a lower dose of Invirase for your first week. Week 1:
• Take one 500 mg film-coated tablet of Invirase twice a day.
• Take one 100 mg capsule of ritonavir (Norvir) twice a day. Week 2 onwards:
• Continue with the standard dose. If you take more Invirase than you should If you have taken more than the prescribed dose of Invirase/ritonavir you must contact your doctor or pharmacist. If you forget to take Invirase Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten individual dose. If you forget to take one dose, take this dose as soon as you remember together with some food. Then go on with the regular schedule as prescribed. Do not change the prescribed dose yourself. If you stop taking Invirase Continue to take this medicine until your doctor tells you otherwise. If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmascist.
Possible side effects
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
During HIV therapy there may be an increase in weight and in levels of blood lipids and glucose. This
is partly linked to restored health and lifestyle, and in the case of blood lipids sometimes to the HIV
medicines themselves. Your doctor will test for these changes.
When treating HIV infection it is not always possible to differentiate between unwanted effects caused
by Invirase or by any other medicines you take at the same time or by the complications of the
infection. For these reasons it is very important to inform your doctor of any change in your condition.
The most frequently (in more than ten in a hundred persons) reported side effects of saquinavir taken
with ritonavir concern the gastrointestinal tract, with feeling sick, diarrhoea, tiredness, vomiting, wind
and abdominal pain being the most common. Also, changes in laboratory markers (e.g., blood or urine
tests) have been reported very commonly.
Other reported side effects (in more than one in a hundred but less than one in ten persons), which
may occur are: rash, itching, eczema and dry skin, hair loss, dry mouth, headache, peripheral
neuropathy (a disturbance of the nerves in the feet and hands that may take the form of numbness, pins
and needles, shooting or burning pain), weakness, dizziness, libido problems, taste alteration, mouth
ulcers, dry lips, abdominal discomfort, indigestion, weight loss, constipation, increased appetite,
muscle spasms and shortness of breath.
Other less frequently reported side effects (in more than one in one thousand persons but less than
one in a hundred persons) include: decreased appetite, visual disturbance, inflammation of the liver,
fits, allergic reactions, blisters, sleepiness, abnormal renal function, inflammation of the pancreas,
yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes caused by liver problems and Steven’s Johnson syndrome
(a serious illness with blistering of the skin, eyes, mouth and genitals).
In patients with haemophilia type A and B, there have been reports of increased bleeding while taking
this treatment or another protease inhibitor. Should this happen to you, seek immediate advice from
There have been reports of muscle pain, tenderness or weakness, particularly with combination
antiretroviral therapy including protease inhibitors and nucleoside analogues. On rare occasions these
muscle disorders have been serious (rhabdomyolysis).
Reporting of side effects If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly (see details below). By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine. Ireland HPRA Pharmacovigilance Earlsfort Terrace IRL
•Dublin 2 Tel: +353 1 6764971 Fax: +353 1 6762517 Website: www.hpra.ie e-mail: [email protected] Malta ADR Reporting Website: www.medicinesauthority.gov.mt/adrportal United Kingdom Yellow Card Scheme Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store
How to Store Invirase
Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children. Do not use this medicine after the expiry date (EXP) which is stated on the bottle and carton. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month. Invirase does not require any special storage conditions. Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help to protect the environment.
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