Although Viracept can keep HIV at bay, it is not a complete cure.
Called protease inhibitors, these drugs work better when prescribed in combination with other HIV medications called nucleoside analogues (Retrovir, Hivid, and others) which act against the virus in other ways.
If you stop taking the drug, the infection will re-emerge and progress to AIDS, leaving you vulnerable to a host of opportunistic infections (rare infections that develop only when the immune system falters, such as certain types of pneumonia, tuberculosis, and fungal infections).
It's imperative, therefore, that you continue to see your doctor regularly and keep all your follow-up appointments.
Once inside the body, HIV spreads through certain key cells in the immune system, weakening the body's ability to fight off other infections.
This slows the spread of the virus and prolongs the strength of the immune system.
Viracept belongs to the new class of drugs that has successfully reversed the course of HIV infection in many people.
Viracept is one of the drugs prescribed to fight HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).
Viracept works by interfering with an important step in the virus's reproductive cycle.
Viracept side effects that you should report to your health care professional or doctor as soon as possible:
More common side effects may include:
- Skin rash;
- Loss of strength;
- Abdominal pain;
Less common side effects may include:
- Suicidal thoughts;
- Stomach pain;
- Stomach and intestinal bleeding;
- Sore throat;
- Sleep problems;
- Skin tingling or numbness;
- Skin rash;
- Sexual dysfunction;
- Nasal and sinus congestion;
- Muscle weakness or disorders;
- Muscle pain or cramps;
- Mouth ulcers;
- Loss of appetite;
- Kidney problems;
- Joint pain;
- Increased or decreased blood sugar;
- Flu-like symptoms;
- Eye problems;
- Emotional problems;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Blood disorders;
- Back pain;
- Allergic reaction;
Viracept is contraindicated if you have any of the following conditions:
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to viracept or any of its ingredients;
- If you have been using oral contraceptives;
Do not take Viracept with any of the following drugs:
- Triazolam (halcion);
- Tacrolimus (prograf);
- Simvastatin (zocor);
- Sildenafil (viagra);
- Saquinavir (invirase);
- Ritonavir (norvir);
- Rifampin (rifadin, rimactane);
- Rifabutin (mycobutin);
- Quinidine (quinaglute, quinidex);
- Phenytoin (dilantin);
- Oral contraceptives;
- Midazolam (versed);
- Lovastatin (mevacor);
- Indinavir (crixivan);
- Ergot derivatives such as cafergot, d.h.e., and migranal;
- Cyclosporine (neoral, sandimmune);
- Carbamazepine (tegretol);
- Atorvastatin (lipitor);
- Amiodarone (cordarone);
Viracept oral powder is available for children who are unable to take tablets.
The oral powder can be measured out with the provided scooper or a teaspoon--your doctor will tell you how much--and mixed with a small amount of water or any other fluid listed under.
The recommended dose for children 2 to 13 years of age is 20 to 30 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight, 3 times a day with a meal or snack.
The safety and effectiveness of Viracept in children below age 2 have not been established.
Take with a meal or snack.
The recommended dose is 1,250 milligrams (five 250-milligram tablets) twice a day or 750 milligrams (three 250-milligram tablets) 3 times a day.
Information on acute overdose with Viracept is limited.
However, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences.
If you suspect an overdose, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.