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Norvir/Fortovase Dosage Seems Low
Jul 28, 2001

Thank you for taking my question! I've looked through the archives, and can't seem to find what I'm looking for...

Basic info: 30 y/o. Positive since 1/97. Last test, CD4 = 260, viral load 55K. Lowest its been CD4 = 120. = somewhere in 20s. Highest my CD4 has been = 305.

I've been on a couple of different regimens, but never for very long. I started with the standard 3x a day Crixivan+combivir schedule, then went to a twice daily Norvir+Crixivan+combivir schedule, and then went to a Viracept+zerit+azt schedule.

My compliance started slipping on the Norvir/Crix combo, when Abbott recalled the capsules a couple years ago and only offered liquid. That's why I switched to Viracept. I wasn't that compliant on that combination either (I was in the throws of active addiction, and was really bottoming out).

Last summer, I went to rehab, and they took me off my meds until I was able to get my life back together. Even off my meds, my CD4 count went up to 305 (my highest yet) because I was clean. This didn't last though, and on the last test I had, my CD4 went down to 260, and my viral load went up from 50K to 55K. My doctor recommended I get back on meds, and this past May, I finally decided I was ready, and my doctor put me on my current regimen:

two capsules of Norvir, two capsules of Fortovase, and one capsule of Trizivir.

Is this dosage good enough?

Steve D.

Response from Dr. Aberg

The usual dosage of norvir (ritonavir, RTV) and fortovase (saquinavir soft gel, SQV) is 400 mg norvir and 400 mg fortovase twice a day. Norvir comes in 100 mg capsules so that would be 4 capsules and Fortovase comes in 200 mg capsules so that would be 2 capsules. The trizivir is a combination of 3 drugs (AZT, 3TC and abacavir) and is taken two times a day. Check with your pharmacist and doctor about the dosing of your medicines. It is very important that you are taking the correct dose. You should always ask your doctor and/or pharmacist about your medications to make sure you are on what you are suppose to be taking. Sometimes medication dosages have to be modified (changed) because of drug interactions, body weight or underlying conditions such as liver or kidney disease. Do not ever change a dose without your doctor telling you to. You may be on a different dose for reasons I just mentioned.

Also given you have been on different protease inhibitors in the past, you may have resistance to either norvir or fortovase or both. If your viral load does not significantly drop in the next few weeks, you may want to talk to your doctor about getting a genotype to check for resistant virus



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