Saquinavir should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep both capsules and tablets in an airtight container.
Keep saquinavir and all other medications out of the reach of children.
What Should I Do If I Miss a Dose of Saquinavir?
It is very important that you not miss saquinavir doses. If you do not take your saquinavir as scheduled, take the missed dose as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you are having trouble remembering to take your HIV medications.
How Does Saquinavir Work?
Saquinavir belongs 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 into long strands that must be clipped into shorter, usable strands using enzymes called proteases.
Saquinavir is a protease inhibitor, which means that it stops protease enzymes from clipping DNA into short strands. Because the long, unclipped DNA strands cannot be used to make new viruses, this helps stop the spread of HIV to other uninfected cells. Saquinavir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS, however. Although it can help stop HIV from infecting healthy cells in the body, it does not help cells that have already been infected with the virus.
Saquinavir is always used in combination with ritonavir, which increases the level of saquinavir in the blood, helping it work better. This is known as "boosting." Ritonavir is used to boost several different HIV medications.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Invirase [package insert]. South San Francisco, CA: Genentech USA, Inc.;2010 October.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed October 12, 2007.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
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