- HIV AIDS Myths and Facts Slideshow Pictures
- Take the HIV/AIDS Quiz
- AIDS Retrospective Slideshow Pictures
- What is lopinavir and ritonavir, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for lopinavir and ritonavir?
- Is lopinavir and ritonavir available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for lopinavir and ritonavir?
- What are the side effects of lopinavir and ritonavir?
- What is the dosage for lopinavir and ritonavir?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with lopinavir and ritonavir?
- Is lopinavir and ritonavir safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about lopinavir and ritonavir?
What is lopinavir and ritonavir, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Kaletra is an oral medication that is a combination of lopinavir and ritonavir. It is used for treating infections with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is in a class of drugs called protease inhibitors which, among others, includes ritonavir (Norvir), nelfinavir (Viracept) and saquinavir (Invirase, Fortovase). Although both lopinavir and ritonavir inhibit the HIV virus, they are combined in Kaletra because ritonavir increases the concentration of lopinavir in the body. In fact, the activity of Kaletra against HIV is due to the lopinavir because the amount of ritonavir in Kaletra is not enough to inhibit the HIV virus. During infection with HIV, the HIV virus multiplies within the body's cells. Viruses are released from the cells and spread throughout the body where they infect other cells. In this manner, HIV infection is perpetuated among new cells that the body produces continually. During the production of the viruses, new proteins for the viruses are made. Some of the proteins are structural proteins, that, is, proteins that form the body of the virus. Other proteins are enzymes which manufacture DNA and other components for the new viruses. Protease is the enzyme that forms the new structural proteins and enzymes. The lopinavir in Kaletra blocks the action of protease and results in the formation of defective viruses that are unable to infect the body's cells. As a result, the number of viruses in the body (the viral load) decreases. Nevertheless, Kaletra does not prevent the transmission of HIV among individuals, and it does not cure HIV infections or AIDS. Kaletra was approved by the FDA in September 2000.
What brand names are available for lopinavir and ritonavir?
Is lopinavir and ritonavir available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: No
Do I need a prescription for lopinavir and ritonavir?
What are the side effects of lopinavir and ritonavir?
The most common side effects of Kaletra are:
Kaletra may cause liver failure and failure of the pancreas. Like other protease inhibitors use of Kaletra may be associated with:
- redistribution or accumulation of body fat,
- increased cholesterol,
- worsening of diabetes, and
- abnormal heart rhythms.
Kaltera should be used cautiously in patients with pre-existing heart conditions.
Quick GuideHIV AIDS Facts: Symptoms and Treatments
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.