AIDS Home > Prezista Warnings and Precautions
Tell your healthcare provider if you have liver disease, diabetes, or any allergies before starting Prezista. Warnings and precautions also include the safety of taking the drug if you have diabetes and the risk of negative interactions if you are taking certain other medicines. Being aware of Prezista warnings and precautions before starting the medication can help minimize risks and ensure safe treatment.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Prezista™ (darunavir ethanolate) if you have:
- 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 Prezista include the following:
- Prezista should be taken with food and with ritonavir (Norvir®), another HIV medication. Taking it without food or ritonavir will decrease the level of Prezista in your blood, making it less effective.
- Prezista is a sulfonamide ("sulfa") drug. If you are allergic to sulfa drugs, do not take Prezista without checking first with your healthcare provider.
- 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 Prezista.
- The liver helps to remove Prezista from the blood. If you have liver disease, Prezista may make it worse. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider if you already have liver disease or liver damage before taking the drug.
- Prezista can cause high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). This can cause problems for people with diabetes, or 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 Prezista) in people with hemophilia. Be sure your healthcare provider knows if you have this medical condition.
- Prezista 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.
- Prezista 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.
- When you first start taking this medication and your immune system begins to recover, a group of problems known as immune reconstitution syndrome may occur. Your immune system may start aggressively reacting to any infections you may have and may cause extreme inflammation. There have even been cases of autoimmune disorders (such as Graves' disease, polymyositis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome) possibly caused by this problem.
- As with all HIV medications, it is important that you take Prezista exactly as prescribed. Missing doses may increase the chance of the virus becoming resistant to HIV medications.
- Prezista can interact with a number of different medications (see Prezista Drug Interactions).
- Prezista is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Prezista and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if Prezista 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 Prezista 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.