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What is this medication?

Antiretroviral, Integrase Inhibitor (Anti-HIV)

ISENTRESS (Raltegravir) is indicated for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.

How does this medication work? 

ISENTRESS (Raltegravir) inhibits the catalytic activity of HIV-1 integrase, thus preventing integration of the proviral gene into human DNA.  This prevents the virus from replicating.

How should I take this medication? 

Treatment-experienced patients
Oral: Take 400 mg twice daily.

Treatment-naive patients:
Oral: Take 400 mg twice daily or 1,200 mg once daily (2 x 600 mg tablet). 

Patients virologically suppressed on an initial regimen of raltegravir 400 mg twice daily may switch to 1,200 mg (2 x 600 mg tablet) once daily. 

How to Take: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, take consistently at same times, each day unless otherwise directed.  Film coated tablets must be swallowed whole.  Chewable tablets may be split in half and chewed then swallowed whole.

You Need to Avoid: Do not use raltegravir in combination with darunavir and ritonavir in patients with HIV RNA >100,000 copies/mL and/or CD4 count <200 cells/mm3, or in combination with abacavir and lamivudine in patients with HIV RNA >100,000 copies/mL.  Once daily dosing is not recommended for use during pregnancy.        

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Before starting ISENTRESS (Raltegravir) make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you are pregnant, or breastfeeding. Raltegravir use has been associated with rare but serious adverse events such as immune reconstitution syndrome, myopathy, skin, and hypersensitivity reactions.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Increased serum ALT, headache, insomnia, increased serum lipase, increased serum amylase, increased serum AST, hyperbilirubinemia, increased creatine phosphokinase.

Note this is not a complete list of side effects for ISENTRESS (Raltegravir), only common ones.

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