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Standard Dosing Schedule for Anti-HIV Drugs

December 1998

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

Generic Name Brand Name
Other Name
Drug Class Standard Daily Dosing * (TDD = Total Daily Dose) Comments
Amprenavir Agenerase® Protease
Inhibitor
Dose 1 - 8 pills

Dose 2 - 8 pills

Each pill 150mg = 2400mg

  • Amprenavir is only available through studies and early access programs, as of October 31, 1998.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Side effects include rash, fatigue, vomiting, headache and diarrhea.
Indinavir Crixivan® Protease
Inhibitor
Dose 1 - 2 pills

Dose 2 - 2 pills

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Dose 3 - 2 pills

Each pill 400mg

TDD = 2,400mg

  • Should be taken on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after a meal.
  • Should not be taken at the same time as ddI, which includes a buffer for the stomach. If taken in a combination with ddI, take indinavir at least one hour before or two hours after ddI.
  • Most serious side effect is kidney stones. To reduce the risk of kidney stones, drink large amounts (8 glasses) of water daily.
  • Must be taken every eight hours.
Nelfinavir Viracept® Protease
Inhibitor
Dose 1 - 3 pills

Dose 2 - 3 pills

Dose 3 - 3 pills

Each pill 250mg

TDD = 2250mg

  • Should be taken with food.
  • Most common side effect is diarrhea, may be controlled with over-the-counter therapies like Imodium or "bulking agents" like Metamucil and other fiber supplements. (Note: Imodium may cause drowsiness, may be useful to take in the evening).
Ritonavir Norvir® Protease
Inhibitor
Dose 1 - 6 pills

Dose 2 - 6 pills

Each pill 100mg

TDD = 1200mg

  • Most common side effect is diarrhea and nausea. Appears worse in first few weeks after initiating therapy.
  • Needs to be kept in the refrigerator.
  • When starting ritonavir, should use 300mg twice a day for two days, 400mg twice a day for two days, 500mg twice a day for two days, then onto the standard 600mg twice a daydose.
  • People with liver dysfunction (e.g., hepatitis B or C) should be cautious when using ritonavir.
Saquinavir Fortovase®,
Invirase®
Protease
Inhibitor

Fortovase
Dose 1 - 6 pills
Dose 2 - 6 pills
Dose 3 - 6 pills

Each pill 100mg
TDD = 3600mg


Invirase
Dose 1 - 3 pills
Dose 2 - 3 pills
Dose 3 - 3 pills

Each pill 200mg
TDD = 1800mg

  • Should be taken with food, preferably within two hours of a high fat meal.
  • Side effects are relatively rare. Most common include diarrhea and nausea.
Efavirenz Sustiva® NNRTIl Dose 1 - 3 pills

Each pill 100mg

TDD = 600mg

  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Most common side effect include neurological symptoms (primarity dizziness, drowsiness and lack of concentration).
  • Should be taken at night to reduce likelihood of neurological side effects (using lorazepam [Ativan®] or Benadryl® may also help).
  • Should not be taken by pregnant women.
Delavirdine Rescriptor® NNRTIl Dose 1 - 4 pills

Dose 2 - 4 pills

Dose 3 - 4 pills

Each pill 100mg

TDD = 1200mg

  • Can be taken with or without food. Can be dissolved in water or other liquids if drank immediately.
  • Most serious side effect is severe rash, which may require hospitalization. Rash usually occurs within first 3 weeks of starting drug. Mild rashes can be managed with antihistamines or topical agents.
Nevirapine Viramune® NNRTIl Dose 1 - 1 pill

Dose 2 - 1 pill

Each pill 200mg

TDD = 400mg

  • Dose is escalated over first two weeks, typically beginning at 1x200mg tablet daily increased to 2x200mg tablets after 14 days.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Most serious side effect is severe rash, which may require hospitalization. Rash usually occurs within first 3 weeks of starting drug. Mild rashes can be managed with antihistamines or topical agents.
Abacavir Ziagen® NARTI2 Dose 1 - 1 pill

Dose 2 - 1 pill

Each pill 300mg

TDD = 600mg

  • Abacavir is only available through studies and early access programs, as of October 31, 1998.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, headache and fatigue.
  • About 3% of people develop a hypersensitivity to abacavir which results in flu-like symptoms. If this occurs, contact your physician immediately and abacavir should be stopped immediately. Do not try to start taking abacavir again as this can lead to severe side effects.
AZT Retrovir®,
zidovudine
NARTI2 Dose 1 - 2 pills
Dose 2 - 2 pills
Dose 3 - 2 pills

Each pill 100mg
TDD = 600mg

OR

Dose 1 - 1 pill
Dose 2 - 1 pill

Each pill 300mg
TDD = 600mg

  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Most common side effects are headache, nausea and general sense of feeling ill. Side effects usually diminish after 6 to 8 weeks of therapy.
  • Most serious side effect is anemia, if caught early treatable with erythropoietin (EPO).
AZT+3TC Combivir® NARTI2 Dose 1 - 1 pill

Dose 2 - 1 pill

Each pill 150mg - 3tc, 300mg AZT

TDD = 300mg - 3tc, 600mg - AZT

  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • See comments from AZT and 3TC sections.
ddC Hivid®,
zalcitabine
NARTI2 Dose 1 - 1 pills

Dose 2 - 1 pills

Dose 3 - 1 pills

Each pill 0.75mg

TDD = 2.25mg

  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Most common side effect include peripheral neuropathy (pain/tingling in feet and/or hands), thrombocytopenia (low platelets) and mouth sores.
  • Most serious side effect is pancreatitis, which has been fatal in some people. Symptoms include sharp pain in upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting. Stop drug immediately and consult a doctor if this occurs. Alcohol use increases risk of pancreatitis.
ddI Videx®,
didanosine
NARTI2 Dose 1 - 2 pills

Dose 2 - 2 pills

Each pill 100mg

TDD = 400mg

  • Must be taken on an empty stomach (without food).
  • Cannot be taken within two hours of drugs which require an acidic stomach environment, including many protease inhibitors and common therapies, such as dapsone.
  • Most common side effects include increases uric acid levels (a measure of kidney function), headaches, sleeplessness, diarrhea and peripheral neuropathy (pain/tingling in feet and/or hands).
  • Most serious side effect is pancreatitis, which has been fatal in some people. Symptoms include sharp pain in upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting. Stop drug immediately and consult a doctor if this occurs. Alcohol use increases risk of pancreatitis.
d4T Zerit®,
stavudine
NARTI2 Dose 1 - 1 pill

Dose 2 - 1 pill

Each pill 40mg

TDD = 80mg

  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Most common side effect is peripheral neuropathy (pain/tingling in feet and/or hands). May cause anemia.
  • Rare incidence of pancreatitis has been observed. Symptoms include sharp pain in upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting. Stop drug immediately if this occurs. Alcohol use increases risk of pancreatitis.
3TC Epivir®,
lamivudine
NARTI2 Dose 1 - 1 pill

Dose 2 - 1 pill

Each pill 150mg

TDD = 300mg

  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Side effects associated with 3TC are rare, but may include headaches, nausea, general sense of feeling ill, diarrhea, anemia and hair loss.
Adefovir Preveon® NtARTI3 Dose 1 - 1 pill

Each pill 60mg

TDD = 60mg

OR

Dose 1 - 1 pill

Each pill 120mg

TDD = 120mg

  • Adefovir is only available through studies and early access programs, as of October 31, 1998.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Most common side effect is kidney dysfunction.
  • Approximately 40% of people on 120mg adefovir developed kidney test abnormalities after 48 weeks.
  • If starting on 120mg, should dose reduce to 60mg after 20 weeks.
  • Anti-HIV activity of 60mg unknown.
* Dose modifications of one or more drugs in a combination may be necessary when taking a protease inhibitor or an NNRTI with 1) another protease together or NNRTI; or 2) common therapies, whether over-the-counter medication or prescription drugs. For more detailed information, call the National HIV/AIDS Treatment Hotline at 1-800-822-7422.
l NNRTI = Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor.
2 NARTI = Nucleosideanalogue reverse transcriptase inhibitor.
3 NtARTI = Nucleotideanalogue reverse transcriptase inhibitor.

For a complete listing of the potential drug interactions with those drugs listed above, please call Project Inform's National HIV/AIDS Treatment Hotline and request the Drug Interactions Chart.


Back to the Project Inform Perspective December 1998 contents page.

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by Project Inform. It is a part of the publication Project Inform Perspective. Visit Project Inform's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
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