An Overview of Kaletra (Lopinavir/Ritonavir)
August 8, 2017
Brand Name: Kaletra
Kaletra can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include liver problems, inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), heart rhythm problems, severe allergic reactions, and life-threatening drug interactions.
Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of liver problems:
Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of pancreatitis:
Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of heart rhythm problems:
Contact your health care provider right away if you develop a skin rash. This could be a sign of a severe allergic reaction.
Kaletra oral solution contains alcohol and propylene glycol. (An oral solution is a mixture of a medicine and a liquid that can be taken by mouth.) The added substances may cause side effects in babies taking Kaletra oral solution. Contact your health care provider right away if your baby appears too sleepy or his or her breathing has changed.
Taking Kaletra with certain other medicines may result in serious, life-threatening side effects.
While taking Kaletra, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.
What Is Kaletra?
Kaletra is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children 14 days of age and older. Kaletra is always used in combination with other HIV medicines.
Kaletra contains the following two different medicines combined in one pill:
PIs block an HIV enzyme called protease. (An enzyme is a protein that starts or increases the speed of a chemical reaction.) By blocking protease, the two drugs in combination prevent HIV from multiplying and can reduce the amount of HIV in the body.
HIV medicines can't cure HIV/AIDS, but taking a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV regimen) every day helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission. If you are taking HIV medicines, including Kaletra, don't cut down on, skip, or stop taking them unless your health care provider tells you to.
What Should I Tell My Health Care Provider Before Taking Kaletra?
Before taking Kaletra, tell your health care provider:
How Should I Take Kaletra?
Kaletra (the brand name for the fixed-dose combination lopinavir and ritonavir) comes in tablet form in the following strengths:
Kaletra also comes as an oral solution containing 80 mg/mL lopinavir and 20 mg/mL ritonavir. (An oral solution is a mixture of a medicine and a liquid that can be taken by mouth.)
Take Kaletra according to your health care provider's instructions.
If you are giving Kaletra to your child, follow your health care provider's instructions. Kaletra dosing for children is based on weight and height, so tell your health care provider if your child's weight changes.
Kaletra tablets can be taken with or without food. Swallow the tablets whole. Do not chew, break, or crush the tablets.
Take Kaletra oral solution with food. Pregnant women should not take Kaletra oral solution because it contains alcohol.
Always take Kaletra in combination with other HIV medicines. If you are also taking the HIV medicine didanosine (brand name: Videx; Videx EC):
If you take too much Kaletra, contact your health care provider or local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) right away, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
For more information on how to take Kaletra, see the FDA drug label from DailyMed. (DailyMed is a federal website that includes the most recent drug labels submitted to FDA.)
What Should I Do If I Forget A Dose?
If you miss a dose of Kaletra, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and just take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
What Side Effects Can Kaletra Cause?
Kaletra may cause side effects. Many side effects from HIV medicines, such as nausea or occasional dizziness, are manageable. See the AIDSinfo fact sheet on HIV Medicines and Side Effects for more information.
Some side effects of Kaletra can be serious. Serious side effects of Kaletra include liver problems, inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), heart rhythm problems, severe allergic reactions, and life-threatening drug interactions. (See the WARNING box above.)
Other possible side effects of Kaletra include:
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 Kaletra. To learn more about possible side effects of Kaletra, read the drug label or package insert or talk to your health care provider or pharmacist.
You can report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or online at www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/.
How Should Kaletra Be Stored?
Where Can I Find More Information About Kaletra?
More information about Kaletra is available:
The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Solution, tablet (film coated).
[Note from TheBody.com: This article was originally published by AIDSinfo on Aug. 8, 2017. We have cross-posted it with their permission.]
This article was provided by AIDSinfo. Visit the AIDSinfo website to find out more about their activities and publications.
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