Chicago, IL April 25, 1996: In the April issue of the Journal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (Journal) some alternate dosing guidelines are provided for the Abbott Laboratories' new protease inhibitor ritonavir (Norvir). According to Journal editor Gordon Nary, these guidelines seem to have been beneficial in reducing some of the side effects often associated with the starting of antiviral therapy with ritonavir.
Although not part of the FDA-approved dosage recommendations that are included in the package insert for ritonavir, Abbott officials have confirmed the benefit to some patients of gradually increasing the initial dosing of ritonavir over the first 14 days. At day one, patients should start with ritonavir at 300mg BID (twice daily). Patient should gradually increase dosage to reach standard dosing of 600mg BID (twice daily) after 14 days.
If side effects persist after 14 days, patients can lower their long-term dosage to a minimum of 500mg BID (twice daily) only if ritonavir is administered in combination with other antivirals. If side effects continue patients are permitted to take antinausea and antidiarrheal drugs according to package instructions to help reduce the duration and severity of the side effects.
The April issue of the Journal also contains a monograph on ritonavir, details on the dose-ranging studies with ritonavir and saquinavir, and a side-by-side comparison of ritonavir and indinavir. For a copy of the article on dosing recommendations contact Mabrey Russell Whigham, at 312-419-7295 or, beginning May 1st, visit the new web site of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care at http://www.iapac.org.