Norvir, also known by its medical name Ritonavir, is a drug used to fight the HIV virus by preventing it from reproducing in the human body.
Norvir is used in the treatment of the HIV virus, which can lead to AIDS. However, you must note that it is a not a cure for either disease.
There are many medications that can react with Norvir, and can sometimes be fatal. Do not use these with the drug. Tell your doctor about anything you are on.
While you are being treated with Norvir, you are still open to transmitting HIV to others. Never have unprotected sex, share razors or drug needles.
Since the treatment for HIV or AIDS is done using a medical cocktail, make sure you take all the medication on a regular basis.
Norvir is not meant to have any adverse effects on unborn children. However, HIV is likely to be passed on during your pregnancy if untreated.
If you have either HIV or AIDS, do not give your baby your breast milk. Even if you gave birth to a healthy child, they could contract HIV from the milk.
This drug also has the ability to reduce the effect of contraceptive pills. Tell your doctor to recommend a barrier method while being treated with Norvir.
Norvir should be taken in the exact amounts that have been recommended by a doctor. Follow all instructions and never take the medicine in bigger or smaller doses.
If taking the pills, make sure they are taken with food. Even the liquid form of Norvir should be taken with meals if possible.
Never break, crush or bite the tablet. Swallow it as it is. If taking the liquid form, shake well before pouring a dose out.
Always measure your doses using a syringe, cup or spoon made for dose measuring. If you don’t have one of these, buy one from your pharmacy.
The liquid form can be mixed with chocolate milk or an energy drink. Drink it regularly and get your blood tested frequently.
If the Norvir is being taken by a child, make sure you tell a doctor if they grow in weight or height. The dosage is based on their body surface area.
With other protease inhibitors – 100 – 400 mg per day in a maximum of 2 doses. As the only protease inhibitor – 300 mg per day, in two doses, increased by 100mg every day until 600mg is reached.
With other protease inhibitors – check the labeling of the other inhibitors for the appropriate dosage. As the only protease inhibitor – start off with 250mg twice a day increasing in 50mg every 2 days until 400mg is reached. Maximum dosage is 600mg.
Missed doses and overdose
If you miss a dose of Norvir, take it as soon as you remember. If you are close to the next dose, ignore the one you missed. Never take more to make up for it.
If you overdose, call the local poison hotline and seek EMS immediately. The liquid can be fatal to children in large doses.
Common side effects include:
Nausea with vomiting
Diarrhea and stomach pains
Numbness or a tingling sensation
Weakness and exhaustion
Mild skin rashes
Change in the location of fat
Severe side effects include:
Bruising and bleeding
Purple spots on the skin
Pancreatic problems (severe abdominal pain, rapid pulse and nausea)
Liver problems (nausea, dark urine, pale stools and jaundice)
Skin reactions (fever, swelling, blistering and peeling)
High blood sugar (thirst, hunger, dry mouth and skin, weight loss)
Cold and genital sores
Rapid pulse, anxiety and irritability
Thyroid problems and impotence.
Contact your doctor immediately if you notice these side effects.
Stop taking Norvir immediately if you notice any allergic reactions like hives, facial swelling, trouble breathing and itchiness.
Do not take Norvir if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. Do not use it with other HIV or AIDS medication, antibiotics, antidepressants, blood thinners, chemotherapy, cholesterol and blood pressure medication, nausea medication, narcotics, sedatives, and erectile dysfunction medicines.