STD Home > What Is Lopinavir and Ritonavir Used For?

Lopinavir and ritonavir is used for preventing HIV from multiplying in the body. It is a combination drug that contains two protease inhibitors, which work by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply. The medication can also be used off-label as a means of postexposure prophylaxis. Lopinavir and ritonavir uses are approved for both adults and children as young as 14 days old.

What Is Lopinavir and Ritonavir Used For? -- An Overview

Lopinavir and ritonavir (Kaletra®) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of HIV and AIDS. It contains two different medications, both of which belong to a group of medications known as protease inhibitors. Lopinavir and ritonavir is approved only for use in combination with other HIV medications.
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) was initially reported in the United States in 1981. Since then, it has become a significant worldwide epidemic. AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). At first, an HIV infection usually does not cause any obvious symptoms (see HIV Symptoms), and most people have no idea that they have been infected with the virus, unless they happen to be tested for it. However, by killing or damaging cells of the body's immune system, HIV will eventually begin to progressively destroy the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers (see AIDS Symptoms).
HIV is frequently spread through sexual contact with an infected partner. Transmission also happens through contact with infected blood, which frequently occurs among IV drug users (who share needles or syringes contaminated with blood from someone infected with the virus). Women with HIV can transmit the virus to their babies during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.
Lopinavir and ritonavir is almost always used as part of an HIV "cocktail." These cocktails usually consist of three or four (or sometimes five) different HIV medications (technically known as highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART). Using combinations of medications helps to prevent the virus from becoming resistant to one or more of the drugs.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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