Vitekta is used in combination with ritonavir and other HIV medicines (eg, atazanavir, darunavir, fosamprenavir, lopinavir, tipranavir) to treat infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
HIV is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). This medicine is used in patients who are already taking or have received HIV medicines in the past.
Vitekta will not cure or prevent HIV infection or AIDS; however, it helps keep HIV from reproducing and appears to slow down the destruction of the immune system.
This may help delay the development of problems that usually result from AIDS or HIV disease. Vitekta will not keep you from spreading HIV to other people.
People who receive this medicine may continue to have some of the problems usually related to AIDS or HIV disease. This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before using Vitekta, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. Inform your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines.
Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Pediatric appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of elvitegravir in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Geriatric appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of elvitegravir in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution in patients receiving elvitegravir.
Pregnancy studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women or animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose or other precautions may be necessary.
When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
St John's Wort
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
It is possible that other form of interactions may occur when using this medicine. Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur.
Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco. The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine.
Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially in the case of liver disease, or severe liver failure. Use of these medicines is not recommended for patients with these conditions.
3 Proper Usage
Proper usage of Vitekta requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. Do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
Also, do not change the dose or stop taking this medicine without checking first with your doctor. When your supply of this medicine is running low, contact your doctor or pharmacist ahead of time.
Do not allow yourself to run out of this medicine. This medicine comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Keep taking elvitegravir for the full time of treatment, even if you begin to feel better. It is also important that you continue taking all other medicines for HIV infection your doctor has instructed you to take.
Elvitegravir will not work if it is taken alone. It must be taken with other HIV medicines. This medicine works best when there is a constant amount in the blood. To help keep blood levels constant, do not miss any doses.
Also, it is best to take the doses at evenly spaced times during the day. For example, if you are taking one dose per day, try to take it at the same time each day. If you need help planning the best times to take your medicine, check with your doctor.
Take this medicine with food. If you are also using didanosine, take it at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking elvitegravir. If you are also using an antacid, take it at least 2 hours before or after elvitegravir. The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients.
Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
For oral dosage form (tablets):
For treatment of HIV infection:
Adults 85 milligrams (mg) once a day together with any of the following:
Ritonavir 100 mg once a day with atazanavir 300 mg once a day.
Ritonavir 100 mg two times a day with lopinavir 400 mg two times a day.
150 mg once a day together with any of the following:
Ritonavir 100 mg two times a day with darunavir 600 mg two times a day.
Ritonavir 100 mg two times a day with fosamprenavir 700 mg two times a day.
Ritonavir 200 mg two times a day with tipranavir 500 mg two times a day.
Children Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
In the case of missed doses, take the medicine as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
4 Precautions to Take
Before using Vitekta, there are some precautions you must take. It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits, to make sure this medicine is working properly.
Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects. Do not use this medicine together with cobicistat (Tybost or other medicines that contain cobicistat eg, Stribild).
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription medicines and herbal (eg, St. John's wort) or vitamin supplements.
Your immune system may get stronger when you start taking HIV medicines. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child notices any changes in your health.
Sometimes the immune system will start to fight infections that were hidden in your bodies, such as pneumonia, herpes, or tuberculosis. Autoimmune disorders (eg, Graves' disease, polymyositis, and Guillain-Barr syndrome) may also occur.
This medicine does not decrease the risk of transmitting the HIV infection to others through sexual contact or by contaminated blood. Make sure you understand and practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Avoid sharing needles with anyone.
5 Potential Side Effects
As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Vitekta. Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention.
These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
More common side effects may present in the form of diarrhea. Less common side effects may, however, come as a headache and nausea.
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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