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Indinavir

Indinavir prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body. Indinavir is the active ingredient in the popular medication Crixivan manufactured by Merck. Indinavir offers highly effective treatment of HIV symptoms, and is one of the top prescribed medications of this category!

Indinavir is also marketed as: Crixivan.

Uses

Indinavir is an antiviral medication in a group of HIV medicines called protease inhibitors. Indinavir prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body. Indinavir is used to treat HIV, which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Indinavir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.

How to take

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Take Indinavir with a full glass (8 ounces) of water or skim milk. You may also drink juice, coffee, or tea with this medication. Drink at least 6 glasses of water each day to prevent kidney stones while you are taking Indinavir.

Indinavir should be taken on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

If you prefer to take the medication with food, eat only a light meal, such as dry toast with jelly, or corn flakes with skim milk and sugar. Avoid eating a high-fat meal.

Use Indinavir regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking Indinavir and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • pain in your side or lower back, blood in your urine;
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, confusion or weakness;
  • signs of a new infection, such as fever or chills, cough, or flu symptoms;
  • rapid heart rate, increased sweating, tremors in your hands, anxiety, feeling irritable, sleep problems (insomnia);
  • diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, menstrual changes, impotence, loss of interest in sex;
  • swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid);
  • muscle weakness, tired feeling, joint or muscle pain, feeling short of breath;
  • weakness or prickly feeling in your fingers or toes;
  • problems with walking, breathing, speech, swallowing, or eye movement;
  • severe lower back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • high blood sugar -- increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision; or
  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting;
  • numbness or tingling, especially around your mouth;
  • headache, mood changes; or
  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.

Precautions

Before taking Indinavir, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: high blood fat levels (cholesterol/triglycerides), diabetes, hemophilia, kidney problems (including kidney stones), heart problems (coronary artery disease, heart attack), liver problems.

If you also take didanosine, take it 1 hour before or after you take Indinavir, on an empty stomach.

Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Do not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

Drug interactions

Many drugs can interact with Indinavir. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • atorvastatin (Lipitor, Caduet) or rosuvastatin (Crestor);
  • injectable midazolam (Versed);
  • Generic Fluticasone (Advair, Flonase, Generic Flovent);
  • St. John's wort;
  • antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater);
  • antidepressants such as trazodone (Desyrel), and others;
  • any other HIV/AIDS medications;
  • heart or blood pressure medicine such as amlodipine (Norvasc, Caduet, Generic Exforge, Generic Lotrel, Tekamlo, Tribenzor, Twynsta, Amturnide), Generic Diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Dilacor, Diltia, Diltzac, Taztia, Tiazac), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), quinidine (Quin-G), Generic Isoptin (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan, Tarka), and others;
  • drugs that weaken the immune system, such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune), or tacrolimus (Prograf);
  • Generic Insulin or diabetes medication you take by mouth;
  • medicines to treat erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra); orseizure medications such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), or phenytoin (Dilantin).

This list is not complete and there are many other drugs that can interact with Indinavir.

Missed dose

If you are less than 2 hours late in taking your medicine, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.