STD Home > More Instructions for Raltegravir

When and How to Take Raltegravir

General considerations for when and how to take the medication include the following:
  • Raltegravir comes in regular tablet and chewable tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth twice daily. It also comes in powder form in single-dose packets to be mixed with water for children.


  • The regular tablets must be swallowed whole; the chewable tablets can be swallowed whole or chewed first. 
  • For the powder form, each dose is mixed with 5 mL of water. After being mixed, it should be taken within 30 minutes.


  • You can take it with or without food. If the medication bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
  • Try to take raltegravir at the same times every day to maintain an even level in your blood.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It is very important that you closely follow your healthcare provider's instructions on taking this drug. Missing doses can increase the chance of the virus developing a resistance to the drug, thereby making it less effective.


Is There a Generic Version?

Currently, there are no generic versions of raltegravir licensed for sale (see Generic Isentress).


Who Makes It?

Raltegravir is made by Merck & Co., Inc.

Strengths of Raltegravir

Raltegravir comes in the following forms and strengths:
  • Raltegravir 25 mg chewable tablets
  • Raltegravir 100 mg chewable tablets
  • Raltegravir 400 mg tablets (not chewable)
  • Raltegravir for oral suspension 100 mg packets (which contain banana-flavored powder that is mixed with water before each dose).
The regular tablets and the chewable tablets or oral suspension packets are not bioequivalent. This means that four 100-mg chewable tablets (or four 100-mg oral suspension packets) will not provide the same dosage as one 400-mg regular tablet, due to differences in absorption. As a result, the two forms are not interchangeable.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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