Ensuring Safe Treatment With Agenerase
Specific Agenerase Warnings and PrecautionsWarnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Agenerase include the following:
- Agenerase oral solution (but not capsules) contains propylene glycol, which can be toxic if taken in large quantities. Due to these risks, Agenerase oral solution should never be taken by children under four years old, pregnant women, or people who have liver or kidney failure. Also, people who take Agenerase oral solution should not drink alcohol.
- Children who take Agenerase oral solution should be switched to Agenerase capsules as soon as they are able to swallow the capsules. It is important to note that these two products are not equivalent on a mg-per-mg basis (in other words, 50 mg of Agenerase solution is not equivalent to a 50-mg Agenerase capsule).
- Agenerase can destroy red blood cells (this is known as hemolytic anemia).
- The medication frequently causes skin rashes. Most often, these rashes are harmless, although sometimes they can be quite dangerous. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop a rash while taking Agenerase.
- Agenerase is a sulfonamide (a "sulfa" drug). Therefore, if you have a sulfa allergy, do not take Agenerase without first talking to your healthcare provider.
- The liver helps to remove Agenerase from the blood, so if you have liver disease, Agenerase can make it worse. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider if you already have liver disease or liver damage prior to taking the drug.
- Agenerase can cause high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). This can cause problems for people who have diabetes, or it can even cause diabetes in individuals who are at risk for the condition.
- There have been reports of bleeding due to protease inhibitors (such as Agenerase) in people who have hemophilia. Be sure your healthcare provider knows if you have this condition.
- Agenerase can increase triglyceride levels. Your healthcare provider should regularly check your triglyceride and cholesterol levels while you are taking the drug.
- The medication can change the distribution of fat on your body. You may gain fat in areas that are not typical for you, such as in the abdomen or at the back of the neck (a "buffalo hump"), and you may lose weight in other areas.
- Agenerase is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. If you have HIV or AIDS, you should always use safer sex practices, whether or not you are taking medications.
- As with all HIV medications, it is important that you take Agenerase exactly as prescribed. Missing doses may increase the chance of the virus becoming resistant to HIV medications.
- Agenerase can interact with a number of different medications (see Agenerase Drug Interactions).
- Agenerase is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Agenerase and Pregnancy). Agenerase oral solution (but not capsules) should never be taken during pregnancy.
- It is not known if Agenerase passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Agenerase and Breastfeeding). It is important to understand that the HIV virus can be transmitted through breast milk and that breastfeeding is usually not recommended in women who have HIV or AIDS.