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Lopinavir and Ritonavir: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking lopinavir and ritonavir if you have:
 
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Lopinavir and Ritonavir to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
 

How Does Lopinavir and Ritonavir Work?

Both of the medications in lopinavir and ritonavir belong to a group of HIV medications known as protease inhibitors. These medicines work by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply.
 
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. Like other viruses, it must use a person's own cells to reproduce. Once inside an infected cell, the HIV virus uses the cell to make DNA, which enables it to make new HIV viruses that can spread to other cells. The DNA is made in long strands that must be clipped into shorter, usable strands using enzymes called proteases.
 
Lopinavir and ritonavir is a protease inhibitor, which means that it stops protease enzymes from clipping DNA into short strands. Since the long, unclipped DNA strands cannot be used to make new viruses, this helps stop the spread of HIV to other uninfected cells.
 
Lopinavir and ritonavir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS, however. It can help stop HIV from infecting healthy cells in the body, but it does not help cells that have already been infected with the virus.
 
Even though ritonavir is a protease inhibitor, it is not used for its antiviral activity. Instead, it is used to increase the level of lopinavir in the blood. It does this by slowing down the breakdown of lopinavir in the liver. By increasing the level of lopinavir in the blood, ritonavir helps it to work better.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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