Invirase

Drug List

Invirase

Drug Name

Invirase (Saquinavir)

Manufactured By

Genentech, Inc.

Drug Savings

Nationwide Prescription Connection (NPC) is an experienced advocacy service that helps connect patients to manufacturer provided free and discount programs. We can help the uninsured, under insured, those in the Medicare gap also known as the "doughnut hole", or even those needing help with expensive co-pays.  Our web site makes it easy for you to enter the medications you are taking, along with some basic patient information, and then finds the program that is right for you.

NPC's mission is your health. We recognize your need for help when you are applying for discount programs for your prescription medications. We consist of friendly and experienced advocates that not only know how these free and discount programs work, but are ready to help. We are available to take your call and answer any questions you may have as you search for the right program to fit your needs. We can also explain any supporting material you may need to provide as you apply for these programs. If for any reason you are denied, we also are experienced in the best appeals process with a high success rate.

Treats Disease/Condition

HIV

Uses

Saquinavir, used in combination with ritonavir and other HIV medications, is used to help control HIV infection. It helps to decrease the amount of HIV in your body so your immune system can work better. This lowers your chance of getting HIV complications (such as new infections, cancer) and improves your quality of life. Saquinavir belongs to a class of drugs known as protease inhibitors. It must be given with ritonavir, another protease inhibitor, to increase ("boost") the levels of saquinavir. This helps saquinavir work better. This product may also be used to lessen the risk of HIV infection after contact with the virus (for example, due to a needle stick). Ask your doctor for more details.

How To Use

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take your dose of saquinavir and ritonavir by mouth at the same times, as directed by your doctor, with a meal or up to 2 hours after a meal, usually 2 times daily. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start saquinavir at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. It is very important to continue taking this medication (and other HIV medications) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed or stop taking it (or other HIV medicines) even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Skipping or changing your dose without approval from your doctor may cause the amount of virus to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat, or worsen side effects.

Side Effects

Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or tiredness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Some people may experience worsening of a previous medical condition (such as an old infection) as their immune systems improve, or develop new conditions because their immune systems have become overactive. This reaction may occur at any time (soon after starting HIV treatment or many months later). Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: unexplained weight loss, persistent muscle aches/weakness, joint pain, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet/arms/legs, severe tiredness, vision changes, severe/persistent headaches, signs of infection (such as fever, chills, trouble breathing, cough, non-healing skin sores), signs of an overactive thyroid (such as irritability, nervousness, heat intolerance, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, bulging eyes, unusual growth in the neck/thyroid known as a goiter), signs of a certain nerve problem known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (such as difficulty breathing/swallowing/moving your eyes, drooping face, paralysis, slurred speech). Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, such as: symptoms of a heart attack (such as chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating), fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin. This medication may rarely make your blood sugar level rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst and urination. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar levels regularly. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet. Changes in body fat may occur while you are taking this medication (such as increased fat in the upper back and stomach areas, decreased fat in the arms and legs). The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor, as well as the possible use of exercise to reduce this side effect. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: trazodone, certain benzodiazepines (midazolam, triazolam), ergot alkaloids (such as dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine), garlic supplements, ranolazine, rifamycins (such as rifampin, rifapentine), certain "statin" cholesterol drugs (simvastatin, lovastatin), St. John's wort. Many drugs besides saquinavir may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including quinidine, pimozide, propafenone, cisapride, amiodarone, dofetilide, flecainide, salmeterol, among others. Other medications can affect the removal of saquinavir from your body, which may affect how saquinavir works. Examples include other HIV protease inhibitors (such as atazanavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, tipranavir), cobicistat, among others. Saquinavir can slow down the removal of other medications from your body, which may affect how they work. Examples of affected drugs include asunaprevir, dapsone, lurasidone, drugs to treat erectile dysfunction-ED or pulmonary hypertension (such as sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil), isavuconazonium, naloxegol, rivaroxaban, suvorexant, among others. This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about additional or alternative reliable forms of birth control, and always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity to decrease the risk of spreading HIV to others. Tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your hormonal birth control is not working well.

In Case of Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222

In Case of Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.