Prescription onlyDrug class: Infection

Isentress

(Raltegravir)

Prescription onlyDrug class: Infection
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Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection.

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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.

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Upsides

  • 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.

Downsides

  • 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.
How it works

Isentress stops the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within important cells of the body by preventing the virus from taking over normal functions of the cell for its own purposes.

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Side effect rates 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.

Common concerns from people taking Isentress (Raltegravir)

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Pregnancy
Food
  • Take Isentress with or without food.
Pain
  • 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.