saquinavir, Invirase (Fortovase - discontinued) (cont.)

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PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 500 mg; Capsules: 200 mg

STORAGE: Store Invirase capsules at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Saquinavir must be administered with ritonavir. The recommended dose is 1000 mg twice daily within 2 hours of a meal.

DOSING: The recommended dose of Invirase for adults is 600 mg three times daily. Invirase should be administered within 2 hours of a meal.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Saquinavir interacts with many drugs. Some of the important interactions are mentioned below. Viewers should consult their health care provider before combining any drugs with saquinavir.

Saquinavir should not be used together with triazolam (Halcion), midazolam (Versed), sildenafil (Viagra) and ergotamine derivatives (for example, Ergostat) because saquinavir increases the concentration of these drugs in the body and this could cause serious side effects.

Saquinavir also may inhibit the break-down of the cholesterol-lowering drugs lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor), atorvastatin (Lipitor) and cerivastatin (Baycol). Combining saquinavir with these drugs may increase the occurrence of muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis) which is seen when these drugs accumulate in the body.

Clarithromycin (Biaxin) and ketoconazole (Nizoral) may increase blood concentrations of saquinavir and cause increased severity or frequency of side effects from saquinavir. Saquinavir also increases the concentration of clarithromycin.

Rifampin (Rifadin) and rifabutin (Mycobutin) decrease blood concentrations of saquinavir and therefore could decrease the effectiveness of saquinavir.

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