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An Overview of Crixivan (Indinavir)

August 23, 2013


Indinavir 200Indinavir 400

Brand Name: Crixivan
Other Name(s): IDV, indinavir sulfate
Drug Class: Protease Inhibitors
Approved Use: Treatment of HIV Infection


Indinavir can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include kidney problems, rapid breakdown of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia), and possibly liver problems.

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Rash.
  • Back pain.
  • Pain in the side of your body.
  • Pain the middle to lower part of your stomach.
  • Blood in urine.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Excessive tiredness.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Pain in the upper right part of your stomach.
  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Dark-colored urine.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice).
  • Paleness.

While taking indinavir, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.

What is indinavir?

Indinavir is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults. Indinavir is always used in combination with other anti-HIV medicines.

Indinavir is a type of anti-HIV medicine called a protease inhibitor (PI). Indinavir works by blocking protease, an HIV enzyme. This prevents HIV from replicating and lowers the amount of HIV in the blood.

Indinavir does not cure HIV/AIDS. It is not known if indinavir reduces the risk of passing HIV to other people.

What should I tell my health care provider before taking indinavir?

Before taking indinavir, tell your health care provider:

  • If you are allergic to indinavir or any other medicines.
  • If you have liver problems, especially mild or moderate liver disease caused by cirrhosis (scarring of the liver).
  • If you have kidney problems.
  • If you have diabetes.
  • If you have hemophilia.
  • If you have high cholesterol and are taking cholesterol-lowering medicines called "statins."
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Whether indinavir can harm an unborn baby is unknown.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you are infected with HIV or are taking indinavir.
  • About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Indinavir may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how indinavir works. Taking indinavir together with certain medicines or products may cause serious and/or life-threatening side effects.

How should I take indinavir?

Indinavir comes in three strengths:

  • 100-mg capsules (brand name: Crixivan).
  • 200-mg capsules (brand name: Crixivan).
  • 400-mg capsules (brand name: Crixivan).

Take indinavir according to your health care provider's instructions.


Take indinavir capsules every 8 hours around the clock, every day. Take indinavir with water (or other beverage such as skim or nonfat milk, juice, coffee, or tea) at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Or you can take indinavir with a light meal that is low in calories, fat, and protein. Drink at least six 8-ounce glasses of liquids (preferably water) throughout the day to reduce the risk of kidney stones.

Always take indinavir in combination with other anti-HIV medicines.

If you take too much indinavir, contact your local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.

For more information on how to take indinavir, see the FDA drug label from DailyMed. (DailyMed is a federal website that includes the most recent drug labels submitted to FDA.) Toward the end of the label is patient information for people taking indinavir..

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose by more than 2 hours, wait and then take the next dose at the regularly scheduled time. If you miss a dose by less than 2 hours, take the missed dose immediately. Then take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time. Do not take more or less than your prescribed dose of indinavir at any one time.

What side effects can indinavir cause?

Indinavir can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include kidney problems, rapid breakdown of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia), and possibly liver problems. (See the WARNING above.)

Other possible side effects of indinavir include:

  • Diabetes and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).
  • Changes in body fat (lipodystrophy).
  • Severe muscle pain and weakness in people also taking cholesterol-lowering medicines called "statins."
  • Increased bleeding in people with hemophilia.
  • Changes in the immune system (immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome).

Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of indinavir. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist for more information on possible side effects of indinavir.

How should indinavir be stored?

  • Store indinavir at room temperature, 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
  • Store indinavir capsules in the bottle they came in, with the bottle closed, and keep the drying agent (desiccant) in the bottle to protect from moisture.
  • Safely throw away indinavir that is no longer needed or expired (out of date).
  • Keep indinavir and all medicines out of reach of children.

Where can I find more information about indinavir?

More information about indinavir is available:

Manufacturer Information


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This article was provided by AIDSinfo. Visit the AIDSinfo website to find out more about their activities and publications.
See Also
More on HIV Medications
More on Indinavir (Crixivan)