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AIDS InfoNet Logo.  The AIDS InfoNet - Reliable, Up-to-Date AIDS Treatment Information
International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
Revised September 23, 2013

Fact Sheet 401

Taking Current Antiretroviral Drugs (2 pages)


  1. NUCLEOSIDE AND NUCLEOTIDE ANALOG REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE INHIBITORS (NUKES)
  2. NON-NUCLEOSIDE REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE INHIBITORS (NNRTIs)
  3. COMBINATION THERAPY
  4. PROTEASE INHIBITORS
  5. FUSION INHIBITORS
  6. INTEGRASE INHIBITORS


 1. NUCLEOSIDE AND NUCLEOTIDE ANALOG REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE INHIBITORS (NUKES) 

DRUG DAILY PILLS
(ADULTS)
HOW TO TAKE &
STORE
SIDE EFFECTS NOTES
Abacavir (Ziagen) 2 (300 mg: 1, 2x/day or 2, 1x/day) No food restrictions. Hypersensitivity reaction in about 8% aof patients Don't use with just two other nucleoside analogs unless additional drugs are used.

Combivir

(Combination pill)

2 (150 mg lamivudine + 300 mg zidovudine: 1, 2x/day) No food restrictions. Anemia, nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, bone marrow toxicity. Do not take with zidovudine, stavudine or lamivudine.

Didanosine (ddI, Videx, Videx EC)

Buffered tablet: 4 (100 mg: 2, 2x/day or 4, 1x/day)

Videx EC: 1 pill daily; 400 mg for people over 60 kg/ 132 lbs; 250 mg if below.

Chew or dissolve in water; take on empty stomach; not within 1 hour of indinavir or 2.5 hours of ritonavir. Diarrhea, pancreatitis, abdominal pain, neuropathy, nausea & vomiting. Don't combine with stavudine (d4T.) Check with your health care provider if taking tenofovir. Check with your health care provider if taking tenofovir.
Emtricitabine(FTC, Emtriva) 1 (200 mg: 1, once a day) No food restrictions. Headache, diarrhea, nausea and rash.  Do not take with lamivudine (Epivir) or Truvada.
Epzicom 1 (600 mg abacavir + 300 mg 3TC; 1, once a day) No food restrictions. Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headaches. Blood levels may be increased by bactrim/septra; don't take with emtricitabine (FTC) or Zerit (d4T); don't combine with just two other nucleoside analogs unless additional drugs are used.
Lamivudine (3TC, Epivir) 2 (150 mg: 1, 2x/day) or 1 (300 mg; 1, 1x/day) No food restrictions. Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headaches. Can reduce resistance to AZT. Don’t combine with just two other nucleoside analogs unless additional drugs are used.
Stavudine (d4T, Zerit) 2 (40 mg for people over 60 kg/ 132 lbs; 30 mg if below: 1, 2x/day) No food restrictions. Peripheral neuropathy, headache, chills & fever, diarrhea, nausea. Don't combine with Zidovudine (Retrovir) or didanosIne (Videx.)
Tenofovir (Viread) 1 (300 mg: 1, 1x/day) No food restrictions. Mild side effects; some nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite. May reduce bone mineral density. Don't combine wth ddI. Don't  combine with just two other nucleoside analogs unless additional drugs are used..

Trizivir

(Combination pill)

2 (150 mg lamivudine + 300 mg zidovudine + 300 mg abacavir: 1, 2x/day) No food restrictions. See zidovudine (Retrovir,) lamivudine (Epivir) and abacavir (Ziagen) above. Do not take with abacavir (Ziagen,) emtricitabine (Emtriva,) lamivudine (Epivir,) stavudine (Zerit) or zidovudine (Retrovir.)

Truvada

(Combination pill)

1 (300 mg tenofovir + 200 mg emtricitabine: 1, 1x/day) No food restrictions. Headache, nausea, comiting, rash, loss of appetite. Do not take with ddI (Videx,) emtricitabine (Emtriva) or lamivudine (Epivir.)
Zalcitabine (ddC, Hivid)    Manufacture terminated in 2006
Zidovudine (AZT, Retrovir)

6 (100 mg: 2, 3x/day) or

2 (300 mg: 1, 2x/day)

No food restrictions Anemia, nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, bone marrow toxicity Don't combine with d4T.

 

2. NON-NUCLEOSIDE REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE INHIBITORS** (NNRTIs or NON-NUKES)

 

DRUG
DAILY PILLS (Adults)*
HOW TO TAKE & STORE
SIDE EFFECTS
NOTES
Delavirdine (Rescriptor) 12 (100 mg: 4, 3x/day) or 6 (200 mg; 2, 3x/day) No food restrictions. 100 mg pills can be dissolved in water. Take one hour apart from ddI or antacids. Skin rash, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, fatigue.  
Efavirenz (Sustiva) 3 (200 mg: 3, 1x/day) or 1 (600 mg; 1, 1x/day) Take on an empty stomach before going to sleep. Vivid dreams, anxiety, rash, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, headache and insomnia May cause false positive result on test for marijuana use.
Etravirine (Intelence) 4 (100 mg, 2, 2x/day) Take after a meal. Rash, nausea, abdominal pain  
Nevirapine (Viramune) 1 (200 mg; 1, 1x/day for the first two weeks) then 2 (200 mg: 1, 2x/day) No food restrictions. Skin rash, fever, headache, nausea. Watch for liver problems.
Rilpivirine
(Endurant)
1 (25 mg; 1, 1x/day) Take with a meal Depression, insomnia, headache, rash  

**NNRTI's are metabolized by the liver, as are many other commonly used drugs. Drug interactions can cause large increases or decreases in the blood levels of drugs you are taking, leading to under-doses that are ineffective, or overdoses that can be fatal. Make sure your health care provider knows about all medications you are taking.

3. COMBINATION THERAPY (Several classes of drugs in one pill)

DRUG
DAILY PILLS (Adults)*
HOW TO TAKE & STORE
SIDE EFFECTS
NOTES
Atripla (emtricitabine + tenofovir + efavirenz) 1 (600 mg efavirenz + 200 mg emtricitabine + 300 mg tenofovir, 1x/day) Take on an empty stomach before going to sleep. Vivid dreams, anziety, rash, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, headache and insomnia, vomiting, loss of appetite. May cause false positive result on test for marijuana use.
Complera (emtricitabine + rilpivirine + tenofovir 1 (200 mg emtricitabine + 25 mg rilpivirine + 300 mg tenofovir) Take with a meal Depression, insomnia, headache, rash, diarrhea, vomiting  
Stribild (emtricitabine + tenofovir + elvitegravir + cobicistat) 1 (150 mg elvitegravir,+ 150 mg cobicistat + 200 mg of emtricitabine, + 300 mg of tenofovir) Take with food; 2 hours apart from antacids. Headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, vivid dreams, anxiety, rash, dizziness, insomnia, and loss of appetite. Loss of bone mineral density  

 

4. PROTEASE INHIBITORS***

DRUG
DAILY PILLS (Adults)*
HOW TO TAKE & STORE
SIDE EFFECTS
NOTES
Amprenavir (Agenerase) Manufacture terminated in 2007. Replaced by fosamprenavir (see below).     Protease inhibitors are metabolized by the liver, as are many other commonly used drugs. Drug interactions can cause large increases or decreases in the blood levels of drugs you are taking, leading to under-doses that are ineffective, or overdoses that can be fatal. Make sure your health care provider knows about all medications you are taking.
Atazanavir (Reyataz) 2 (300 mg: 1 plus 1 100mg ritonavir, or 3 (200 mg; 2, plus 1-100 mg ritonavir, once a day) Take with food. High levels of bilirubin. Nausea, headache, rash, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, tingling in hands or feet, and depression. Changes in heart rhythm.
Darunanavir (Prezista) 6 (300 mg, 2 + 1 ritonavir, twice a day) or 4 (600 mg + 1 ritonavir, twice a day) Take with food. Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache and common cold. Rash which in rare cases may be serious.
Fosamprenavir (Lexiva) 4 (700 mg; 2, twice a day) or 4 (700 mg, 2 + 2 ritonavir, once a day; or 700 mg, 1 + 1 ritonavir twice a day) No food restrictions. Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, numbness around mouth, abdominal pain. Increase in cholesterol and triglycerides.
Indinavir (Crixivan) 6 (400 mg: 2, every 8 hours, not 3x/day) or 9 (333 mg; 3 every 8 hours) Take with lots of water, on empty stomach or with low-fat snack. Keep cool and dry. Headache, nausea, abdominal pain, kidney stones.
Lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra, Aluvia) 4 (200 mg lopinavir + 50 mg ritonavir: 2, 2x/day) No food restrictions for tablets; take liquid with food. Keep at room temperature. Diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, headache. Increase in cholesterol and triglycerides.
Nelfinavir (Viracept) 9 (250 mg: 3, 3x/day) or 10 (5, 2x/day or 4 (625 mg; 2, 2x/day) Take with meals or a snack. Diarrhea, nausea, gas, abdominal pain, weakness.
Ritonavir (Norvir) 12 (100 mg: 6, 2x/day); small doses used to boost other protease inhibitors Take with food if possible. Keep refrigerated. Take 2 hours apart from ddI. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tingling & numbness around the mouth. Increase in cholesterol and triglycerides.
Saquinavir (Invirase) 6(500 mg: 2 + 1-100mg ritonavir, 2x/day) Take within two hours of a full meal or large snack. In hot climates, keep refrigerated. Minimal nausea, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort.
Tipranavir (Aptivus) 8 (250 mg, 2 + 2 ritonavir 100 mg, twice a day) Take with food. Refrigerate, or keep at room temperature up to 60 days. Diarrhea, rash, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, tiredness and headache. Worsening of liver problems. Increase in cholesterol and triglycerides.

 

5. FUSION INHIBITORS

DRUG
DAILY DOSE (Adults)
HOW TO TAKE & STORE
SIDE EFFECTS
NOTES
Enfuvirtide (Fuzeon) 2 injections each day. 90 mg per injection for adults. No food restrictions. Skin reactions where drug is injected, ranging from redness and itching to hard lumps.  
Maraviroc (Selzentry, Celsentri) 1 or 2 tablets twice each day. 150, 300 or 600 mg per tablet. No food restrictions. Cough, fever, upper respiratory infections, rash, sore muscles, abdoinal pain, and dizziness. Can be hard on the liver. Dosage depends on other medications being taken.

 

6. INTEGRASE INHIBITORS

DRUG
DAILY DOSE (Adults)
HOW TO TAKE & STORE
SIDE EFFECTS
NOTES
Raltegravir(Isentress) 2 tablets (400 mg, 2x per day). No food restrictions. Diarrhea, nausea and headache; elevated levels of creatine kinase (relates to muscle problems)

 

Elvitegravir        
Dolutegravir Tivicay      

*These pill counts reflect the "normal" use of each drug. However, antiretroviral medications are being combined in new ways. Doses of each drug may be higher or lower in these new combinations.


 


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