Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available



  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • HIV infection
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Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection.

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Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Our bottom line

This is the first medication approved as an Integrase Inhibitor (InSTI), so it may be a great, but somewhat expensive, option for people who have already tried other drugs and need another option.


  • If having difficulty swallowing the tablet, consider the chewable tablet or oral suspension.
  • Only one tablet taken two times a day.
  • Can be used for kids 4 weeks and older.
  • May be helpful if other HIV drugs have stopped working since Isentress works differently than most HIV drugs.


  • Tablets, chewable tablets, and the oral suspension all have different doses, so talk to your doctor if you want to switch from one to another.
  • The oral suspension has to be taken within 30 minutes of mixing it.
  • Avoid taking antacids that contain aluminum and/or magnesium while taking Isentress.
  • Let your doctor know right away if while taking Isentress you begin to feel unexplained muscle pain.

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What to expect when you take Isentress (Raltegravir)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Set two times during the day, one in the morning and one in the evening that you will remember to take Isentress.
  • Take Isentress with or without food.
  • Isentress can make you tired, so avoid other medications or drinks that will add to the problem.
  • If being used for kids, the dose of Isentress will continue to change as they grow, so keep in touch with their doctor.
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Side effects for Isentress (Raltegravir)

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These are side effects of Isentress (Raltegravir) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.

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Risks and Warnings for Isentress (Raltegravir)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Prior severe allergic reaction to Isentress

    Severe, potentially life-threatening, skin reactions have been reported. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice a new or severe rash, a rash accompanied by fever, unexplained blisters, or many new sores in your mouth.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Isentress (Raltegravir)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take Isentress with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Combining certain medications can increase the risk of muscle pain (myopathy), muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis), and kidney damage. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist when taking any new medications.