Prezista is an antiviral medication used to treat HIV and prevent it from developing into AIDS.
Darunavir is a protease inhibitor that prevents the replication and growth of mature virus particles by inhibiting specific protease enzymes and polyproteins responsible for HIV spread. The drug has also been found to be effective against HIV strains that are resistant to older forms of treatment. These inhibitory actions allow Prezista to manage and treat HIV in a range of patients.
This antiviral medication is a safe and effective form of treatment for HIV in patients with treatment resistant strains, who have had previous treatment, or who have yet to be treated. Prezista is generally well-tolerated, the most common side effects being gastrointestinal and lipid abnormalities. When administered once daily, these effects are similar to other treatments and provide effective management of viral activity.
Uses and Dosage
The dose of Prezista that is prescribed will vary depending on the individual being treated. Follow your doctor’s instructions and read packaging labels carefully to ensure the best therapeutic results during treatment.
Swallow tablets whole
Take with food for best therapeutic results
Take with ritonavir at the same time each day
Treatment-naïve adults usually take 800mg of Prezista with 100mg of ritonavir once daily
Treatment-experienced adults with no darunavir resistance take 800mg with 100mg of ritonavir
Those with darunavir resistance are recommended to take 600mg with 100mg of ritonavir
Pregnant women are recommended to take 600mg with 100mg of ritonavir twice daily
Pediatric doses are determined based on weight
Do not suddenly stop or change your dose without first speaking with your doctor
Use all prescribed HIV medications as directed
Store at room temperature away from children and pets
Prezista may cause some side effects to develop while preventing the growth and spread of your HIV cells. Speak with your doctor for more information regarding any symptoms that you may encounter when taking darunavir.
Common Prezista side effects:
Diarrhea, stomach pain
Changes in the shape or location of body fat
Darunavir affects your immune system which can lead to some side effects that could occur weeks or months after your last Prezista dose. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
Signs of a new infection (fever, night sweats, swollen glands, cold sores, cough, wheezing, diarrhea, weight loss)
Trouble speaking or swallowing, weakness or prickly feeling
Balance or eye movement problems
Swelling in your neck or throat
Menstrual changes, impotence
Serious Side Effects
Some more serious adverse reactions may occur when taking darunavir. Stop taking Prezista and call your doctor if you develop any of the following symptoms:
Liver or pancreas problems (loss of appetite, upper stomach pain, nausea or vomiting, fast heart rate, dark urine, jaundice)
Do not use Prezista if you are allergic to darunavir or any of the other listed tablet ingredients. If you notice signs of an allergic reaction, stop using this antiviral medication and contact your doctor.
Prezista allergy symptoms may include:
Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
Red or purple rash with blistering and peeling skin
Do not take Prezista if you have severe liver disease.
Prezista will not prevent you from spreading your HIV infection during treatment. Do not have unprotected sex or share toothbrushes or razors with anyone. Consult your doctor to learn ways to have safe sex and prevent HIV transmission.
Prezista is not designed as a monotherapy and must be taken together with ritonavir for full therapeutic effect. Use all antiviral medications as directed by your doctor.
Stop taking Prezista and call your doctor immediately if you develop a severe skin reaction to darunavir. Symptoms include fever, burning or red eyes, mouth sores, or a skin rash that spreads and causes blistering or peeling.
Darunavir can lead to serious liver problems. Contact your doctor right away if you have upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, tiredness, dark urine, clay-coloured stools, or jaundice.
If you also take didanosine, wait an hour before or two hours after taking Prezista to take your didanosine dose.
To ensure your safety when taking Prezista, tell your doctor if you have ever had any of the following:
Bleeding disorder like hemophilia
Allergy to sulfa drugs
Prezista can cause hormonal birth control to be less effective, including birth control pills, injections, implants, skin patches, and vaginal rings. Use a barrier form of birth control while taking this medication to prevent pregnancy.
It is important to use all medications prescribed to you as directed by your doctor while pregnant to prevent an HIV infection in your newborn.
Do not breastfeed if you have HIV because the virus can pass to your baby through your breast milk.
Many drugs can interact with darunavir and cause adverse reactions. To avoid this, tell your doctor about all the medications that you take, including any over the counter medicines, but especially any of the following:
Elbasvir and grazoprevir
St. John’s wort
Triazolam or oral midazolam
Prezista and ritonavir should not be given to any child under the age of 3 or who weighs under 22 pounds.
Form and Strength
This antiviral medication is available in tablet form.
Prezista tablet strengths:
The 400 and 600mg Prezista tablets are available in quantities of 60 while the 800mg ones are available in quantities of 30.
Who should not take Prezista?
Children under the age of 3 or who weigh less than 22 pounds should not be administered Prezista. Those with severe liver disease should also avoid taking this medication because darunavir may cause damage to your liver. If you are allergic to darunavir or any of the listed tablet ingredients, you also should not use this antiviral medication.
Can Prezista be taken alone?
Prezista is not designed to be taken as a monotherapy form of HIV treatment and should be taking with ritonavir for it to exert its effects. When not taken with ritonavir or other antiviral medications, darunavir is unable to reach the plasma levels in your body needed to provide a beneficial antiviral effect.
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