Common Brand Name(s): Kaletra
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This combination product contains two medications: lopinavir and ritonavir. This product is used with other HIV medications 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. Both lopinavir and ritonavir belong to a class of drugs known as HIV protease inhibitors. Ritonavir increases ("boosts") the levels of lopinavir. This helps lopinavir work better.
Lopinavir/ritonavir is not a cure for HIV infection. To decrease your risk of spreading HIV disease to others, do all of the following: (1) continue to take all HIV medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor, (2) always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity, and (3) do not share personal items (such as needles/syringes, toothbrushes, and razors) that may have contacted blood or other body fluids. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
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 and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking lopinavir/ritonavir and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice daily. Swallow the tablets whole. Do not crush, break or chew the tablets.
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).
For children, the dosage is also based on age, weight, and height. Once-daily dosing of this medication is not recommended for children younger than 18 years of age.
If you are taking didanosine in addition to this product, you can take it at the same time as this product, but take them both without food.
It is very important to continue taking this medication (and other HIV medications) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip any doses.
For the best effect, take this medication at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.
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. Doing so may cause the amount of virus to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects.
Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, gas, headache, and trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
As your immune system gets stronger, it can begin to fight off infections you already had, possibly causing disease symptoms to come back. You could also have symptoms if your immune system becomes overactive. This reaction may happen at any time (soon after starting HIV treatment or many months later). Get medical help right away if you have any serious symptoms, including:
- unexplained weight loss
- severe tiredness
- muscle aches/weakness that doesn't go away
- headaches that are severe or don't go away
- joint pain
- numbness/tingling of the hands/feet/arms/legs
- vision changes
- signs of infection (such as fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, 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 trouble breathing/swallowing/moving your eyes, drooping face, paralysis, trouble speaking)
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
- increased thirst
- increased urination
- persistent nausea/vomiting
- stomach/abdominal pain
- yellowing eyes/skin
- dark urine
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including:
- symptoms of a heart attack (such as chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating)
- severe dizziness
- slow/fast/irregular heartbeat
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.
This medication may cause an increase in blood fat levels (cholesterol and triglycerides). Cholesterol and triglyceride testing should be done before and occasionally during treatment with this medication. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- 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.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to either lopinavir or ritonavir; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
- liver disease
- high blood fat levels (cholesterol/triglycerides)
- heart problems (coronary artery disease, heart attack)
- bleeding problems (such as hemophilia)
- previous infection with certain diseases (such as hepatitis B infection, hepatitis C infection, tuberculosis)
Lopinavir/ritonavir may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using lopinavir/ritonavir, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions:
- certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG)
- family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death)
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using lopinavir/ritonavir safely.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially QT prolongation (see above).
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication. Treatment can lower the risk of passing HIV infection to your baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Because breast milk can transmit HIV, do not breast-feed.
See also How to Use section.
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.
Lopinavir/ritonavir interacts with many medications. Some products that may interact with this drug include:
- certain HIV medications (such as fosamprenavir, tipranavir)
Other medications can affect the removal of lopinavir/ritonavir from your body, which may affect how lopinavir/ritonavir works. Examples include apalutamide, boceprevir, rifampin, St. John's wort, among others.
Lopinavir/ritonavir can speed up or slow down the removal of other medications from your body, which may affect how they work. Examples of affected drugs include certain alpha blockers (such as alfuzosin, tamsulosin), certain inhaled drugs to treat breathing problems (such as fluticasone, salmeterol), cisapride, drugs to treat erectile dysfunction-ED or pulmonary hypertension (such as sildenafil, tadalafil), ergot drugs (such as ergotamine, dihydroergotamine), pimozide, rivaroxaban, simeprevir, telaprevir, certain sedatives (such as midazolam, triazolam), certain statins (such as lovastatin, simvastatin), 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.
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. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: change in amount of urine, numbness or tingling in the arms/hands/legs/feet.
Do not share this medication with others.
Keep all medical and laboratory appointments. Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver function, blood count, blood cholesterol/triglyceride levels, blood sugar) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Lopinavir/ritonavir is available in tablets, capsules, and oral solution. Do not switch types of this medication without instructions on how to do so by your doctor.
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. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store in the original container at room temperature away from light and moisture. Avoid storing this product longer than 2 weeks outside of the container, especially in humid areas. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised February 2020.
Copyright(c) 2020 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.
Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Speak to a Pharmacist
Do you have questions about medications? You can call 8-1-1 (or 7-1-1 for the deaf and the hard of hearing) to talk to a pharmacist about your medication questions. Our pharmacists are available by phone every night from 5pm to 9am - when your community pharmacist may be unavailable.
HealthLinkBC Files are easy-to-understand fact sheets on a range of public health and safety topics including disease prevention and immunizations.
Find Services and Resources
If you are looking for health services in your community, you can use the HealthLinkBC Directory to find hospitals, clinics, and other resources.