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Precautions and Warnings With Raltegravir

There are many precautions and warnings with raltegravir to be aware of before starting treatment. For instance, you should let your healthcare provider know if you have any allergies or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding prior to taking the drug. You should also tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking to avoid possible drug interactions with raltegravir.

Raltegravir: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking raltegravir (Isentress®) if you:
  • Have any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives
  • Have phenylketonuria (PKU) 
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding.
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Raltegravir

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking raltegravir include the following:
  • Raltegravir should not be your only HIV medication; it should always be used in combination with other HIV drugs.
  • When you first start taking raltegravir, your immune system starts to work better, which may cause you to react to infections that are already present in your body (before, your immune system may have been too weak to respond to the infections). You may find that you have infections you did not know you had.
  • Raltegravir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. If you have HIV or AIDS, you should always use safer sex practices, whether or not you are taking medications.
  • As with all HIV medications, it is important that you take raltegravir exactly as prescribed. Missing doses may increase the chance of the virus becoming resistant to HIV medications.


  • Raltegravir chewable tablets (but not the regular tablets) contain phenylalanine, which is important to know for people with phenylketonuria, who must limit their phenylalanine intake. 


  • Raltegravir can interact with a number of different medications (see Drug Interactions With Raltegravir).
  • Raltegravir is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Isentress and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if raltegravir passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Isentress and Breastfeeding). It is important to understand that the HIV virus can be transmitted through breast milk and that breastfeeding is usually not recommended in women who have HIV or AIDS.

Raltegravir Drug Information

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