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Generical name: saquinavir [sa-KWIN-a-veer]
Names of brands: Invirase, Fortovase
Dosage format: oral tablet (mesylate 500 mg)
The class of drugs: protease inhibitors

What is Saquinavir?

Saquinavir is an antiviral drug that prevents the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from multiplying throughout your body.

Saquinavir is used in conjunction with the drug ritonavir in order to fight HIV, which is a virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Both ritonavir and saquinavir are not able to treat HIV and AIDS.Saquinavir can also be used for reasons not mentioned in this guideline.

Side effects of Saquinavir

Contact a medical professional immediately. If you are experiencing symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction, such as hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of your lips, face, and tongue,

Saquinavir may cause serious side effects. Contact your physician immediately in the event of:

  • Heart rhythm issues—fast or beating heartbeats, a fluttering sensation in the chest area, the feeling of breathing becoming short or abrupt dizziness (like you're going to faint);
  • High blood sugar: increased thirst, more frequent urine production, dry mouth and breath smell that is fruity
  • Liver issues: upper abdomen pain, irritation, lack of appetite, dark urine, stools that are clay-colored, and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin).

Saquinavir can affect the immune system and cause some unwanted side reactions (even months or weeks after taking saquinavir). Consult your physician when you experience:

  • Symptoms of a new infection: fever, night sweats, swollen glands, sores from a cold, cough, and wheezing. Diarrhea, weight loss
  • Difficulties swallowing or speaking; issues with balance or eye movement; a weak or prickly sensation;
  • Swelling in your throat or neck (enlarged thyroid) Menstrual fluctuations, impotence

Common adverse effects of saquinavir could include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain;
  • Fatigue tiredness
  • Modifications in the form or position of fat (especially on your legs, arms, face, and neck), the breasts, your waist, and your neck).

This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Other side effects could occur. Contact your doctor for advice regarding medical adverse effects. You can report any side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


It is best not to take saquinavir in the event of serious heart conditions, particularly severe liver diseases, or low levels in your blood of magnesium or potassium, or if you've previously used rilpivirine within the last 2 weeks.Saquinavir should be taken with another medication called ritonavir.Inform your doctor about your current medications and all the ones you begin or stop taking. A variety of drugs interact, and certain drugs shouldn't be combined.

Saquinavir can trigger serious problems with the heart rhythm. Contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing fast or pounding heartbeats. You may also feel fluttering in your chest, a shortness of breath, or sudden dizziness.

Prior to use this drug

Saquinavir is not a good choice when you are allergic to the drug or suffer from:

  • A serious heart problem is called "AV block" (unless you are a patient with an implanted pacemaker);
  • The long QT disorder (in the case of you as well as a relative);
  • Liver disease, severe;
  • The low levels of magnesium or potassium in your blood.
  • If you also take a medication that contains cobicistat or
  • If you've used rilpivirine within the last two weeks,

Life-threatening adverse reactions can occur when you take ritonavir and saquinavir in combination with other medications. Your doctor may alter your treatment plan in the event that you also take:

  • Other HIV medicines—atazanavir, rilpivirine;
  • Alfuzosin;
  • Oral midazolam, or triazolam;
  • Sildenafil (Revatio is used to treat hypertension in the pulmonary artery);
  • Tacrolimus;
  • Antidepressant or antipsychotic medicine: chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, lurasidone, mesoridazine, pimozide, thioridazine, trazodone, and ziprasidone;
  • Cancer medicine: theotinib, sunitinib;
  • Certain anti-infective medicines—clarithromycin, dapsone, erythromycin, halofantrine, pentamidine, and rifampin;
  • Cholesterol medication—lovastatin, simvastatin;
  • Ergot medicine—dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, ergonovine, methylergonovine

Talk to your doctor in the event that you've been afflicted by:

  • Heart disease;
  • The liver (including hepatitis B or C);
  • Hemophilia (a bleeding disorder);
  • Cirrhosis, alcoholism;
  • Diabetes
  • An inborn galactose intolerance or extreme lactase deficiency and sugar-galactose malabsorption.

To stop HIV in the newborn baby, take all the medications you can to manage your HIV during pregnancy. Your name might be listed on a registry of antiviral pregnant women.

Saquinavir could make birth pills for controlling birth less efficient. Talk to your doctor about alternative options for birth control, such as implants, injections, patches for the skin, a vaginal ring condom, a diaphragm cervical cap, and a contraceptive sponge.Women who have HIV are not allowed to feed their babies. HIV can infect your infant through breast milk.Not permitted for use by anyone under the age of 16.

How to take Saquinavir?

Follow all instructions on the prescription label and also read all medication guides or instructions sheets. Follow the medication precisely as directed.Saquinavir is best taken with ritonavir and should not be taken on its own.Consume your medicine along with food for at least 2 hours after having a large meal. You should take the medicine every day.You'll require regular medical tests.

Make sure to take all HIV medicines according to the directions. Don't alter your dosage or stop taking medication without consulting your physician. Keep your medication under the supervision of a physician.Keep the bottle at room temperature, far from heat and moisture. Close the bottle when not being used.

What happens if I miss the dose?

You should take the medication as quickly as you are able, but do not take any missed doses if you are nearing the time to take the next dose. Don't have two doses at one time.

Refill your prescription prior to the time you run out of medication completely. Dosing less frequently can increase the chance of your virus developing resistance to antiviral drugs.

What happens if I overdose?

For medical emergencies, seek emergency medical attention or contact the Poison Help Line toll-free at 1-800-222-1222.

What should be avoided?

Saquinavir does not stop the disease from spreading. Don't engage in sexual activity that is not protected or share toothbrushes or razors. Discuss with your doctor ways to stop HIV transmission during sexual contact. Sharing needles for medicine or drugs is never secure.

Interaction with other drugs

A variety of drugs can interact with saquinavir and shouldn't be used in conjunction. Inform your doctor of any other medications you take. This includes over-the-counter and prescription medicine, vitamins, and herbs. Not all interactions are included in this list.\