Aptivus Warnings and Precautions
It's important to review Aptivus warnings and precautions with your healthcare provider before starting treatment. For example, tell your healthcare provider about existing medical conditions you have and all medications you are currently taking. Aptivus warnings and precautions also include the safety of taking the drug if you have liver disease and the risk of high blood sugar, high cholesterol, or bleeding in some people.
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- High cholesterol or high triglycerides
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Aptivus include the following:
- There have been reports of bleeding in the brain in people taking Aptivus. Some of these cases were fatal.
- Aptivus can increase the risk of bleeding. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any unusual or unexplained bruising or bleeding while taking it.
- Aptivus must be taken with ritonavir (Norvir®), another HIV medication. Taking Aptivus without ritonavir will decrease the level of Aptivus in your blood, possibly making it less effective.
- The liver helps to remove Aptivus from the blood. Therefore, if you have liver disease, the medication may make it worse. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider if you already have liver disease or liver damage prior to starting treatment.
- Aptivus can cause high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). This can cause problems for people with diabetes, or it can even cause diabetes in individuals who are at risk for the condition.
- Aptivus is a sulfonamide ("sulfa") drug. If you have a sulfa allergy, do not take Aptivus without discussing it with your healthcare provider first.
- Aptivus can increase triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Your healthcare provider should monitor your cholesterol and triglyceride levels while you are taking the medication.
- There have been reports of bleeding possibly due to protease inhibitors (such as Aptivus) in people with hemophilia. Be sure your healthcare provider knows if you have this condition.
- Aptivus 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 may lose weight in other areas.
- Aptivus 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 Aptivus exactly as prescribed. Missing doses may increase the chance of the virus becoming resistant to HIV medications.
- Aptivus can interact with a number of different medications (see Aptivus Drug Interactions).
- Aptivus 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 Aptivus and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if Aptivus 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 Aptivus 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 with HIV or AIDS.