AIDS Home > Kaletra Warnings and Precautions
Talking to your healthcare provider about Kaletra warnings and precautions can help ensure a safe treatment process. Tell your healthcare provider if you have diabetes, hemophilia, or high cholesterol before starting Kaletra. Warnings and precautions also include the safety of taking the drug if you have liver disease and the risk of pancreatitis, liver damage, or high blood sugar in some people.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Kaletra® (lopinavir and ritonavir) if you have:
- An irregular heart rhythm
- Long QT syndrome
- Heart disease
- Low blood potassium (hypokalemia)
- High cholesterol or high triglycerides
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- 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 Kaletra include the following:
- There have been reports of an inflamed pancreas (pancreatitis) in people who took Kaletra. Pancreatitis can be quite dangerous. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any signs of the condition, such as:
- A tender or swollen abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- A rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
- Rapid breathing
- High triglycerides.
- Kaletra may increase the risk of a potentially dangerous irregular heart rhythm known as heart block. This risk may be greater for people with heart disease or taking certain other medications (see Kaletra Drug Interactions).
- Kaletra may increase the risk of a potentially dangerous irregular heart rhythm known as QT prolongation. This risk may be greater for people with a condition known as long QT syndrome, who have low blood potassium, or who are taking certain other medications (see Kaletra Drug Interactions).
- Kaletra oral solution contains alcohol and propylene glycol, which can be dangerous to infants if too much is given. This is especially important for newborns and premature babies. Your healthcare provider should closely track the total dose of alcohol and propylene glycol your baby has received from all sources (such as from other medications) in order to avoid serious problems. In general, Kaletra should not be given to babies under the age of 14 days old (or even older, for premature babies).
- Kaletra can cause liver damage. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider if you already have liver disease or liver damage, as the medication may make your condition worse.
- The medication can cause high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). This can cause problems for people with diabetes, or it can even cause diabetes in individuals who are predisposed to the condition.
- There have been reports of bleeding possibly due to protease inhibitors (such as Kaletra) in people with hemophilia. Be sure your healthcare provider knows if you have this condition.
- Kaletra can increase triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Your healthcare provider should check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels while you are taking the drug.
- Kaletra 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.
- Kaletra 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 Kaletra exactly as prescribed. Missing doses may increase the chance of the virus becoming resistant to HIV medications.
- Kaletra can interact with a number of different medications (see Kaletra Drug Interactions).
- Kaletra 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 Kaletra and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if Kaletra 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 Kaletra 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.