How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Elvitegravir belongs to the class of medications called antiretroviral agents. It is used in combination with other antiretroviral medications to treat the infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) for people whose current medication therapy is not working. HIV is the virus responsible for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV infection destroys CD4 (T) cells, which are important to the immune system. The immune system helps fight infections.
Elvitegravir works by blocking an enzyme called HIV integrase, which the virus needs to multiply. When combined with other antiretroviral medications, elvitegravir reduces the amount of HIV in the blood and increases CD4 (T) cell counts. This may help to delay the development of problems such as infections related to AIDS or HIV disease.
This medication does not cure AIDS and does not reduce the risk of passing HIV to others through sexual contact or blood contamination.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each green, pentagon-shaped, film-coated tablet of dimensions 8.9 mm x 8.7 mm, debossed with "GSI" on one side and "85" on the other, contains elvitegravir 85 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium lauryl sulfate, croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl cellulose, and magnesium stearate; coating: indigo carmine (FD&C Blue No. 2) Aluminum Lake, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, titanium dioxide, and yellow iron oxide.
Each green, triangle-shaped, film-coated tablet of dimensions 10.9 mm x 10.5 mm, debossed with "GSI" on one side and "150" on the other, contains elvitegravir 150 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium lauryl sulfate, croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl cellulose, and magnesium stearate; coating: indigo carmine (FD&C Blue No. 2) Aluminum Lake, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, titanium dioxide, and yellow iron oxide.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended dose of elvitegravir depends on the protease inhibitor you are taking in addition to the medication ritonavir. The daily dose of elvitegravir is 85 mg taken once daily, if you are taking atazanavir or lopinavir along with ritonavir. If you are taking darunavir, fosamprenavir, or tipranavir along with ritonavir, the dose of elvitegravir is 150 mg taken once daily.
Swallow the tablet whole, with plenty of water.
Elvitegravir should be taken with food. This increases the amount of medication absorbed by the body with each dose and therefore improves the effectiveness of the medication.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The amount of HIV virus in your blood can increase if this medication is stopped for even a short period of time. Taking this medication exactly as prescribed will also decrease the chance of drug resistance (i.e., the medication stops working to fight HIV).
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible with food and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.Store this medication in its original container at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children. Keep the container tightly closed.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you are allergic to elvitegravir or any ingredients of the medication.
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- abdominal pain
- back pain
- muscle and joint pain
- trouble sleeping
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- signs of depression (e.g., poor concentration, changes in weight, changes in sleep, decreased interest in activities, thoughts of suicide)
- signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, sore throat, mouth ulcers, cough)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., hives; skin rash; itchy skin; trouble breathing; or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat)
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Immune reconstitution syndrome: This medication may cause immune reconstitution syndrome, where signs and symptoms of inflammation from previous infections appear. These symptoms occur soon after starting anti-HIV medication and can vary. They are thought to occur as a result of the immune system improving and being able to fight infections that have been present without symptoms (such as pneumonia, herpes, or tuberculosis). Report any new symptoms to your doctor immediately.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. Elvitegravir should not be used in people with severe liver impairment. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.
Resistance: The HIV virus appears to be able to change to make elvitegravir less effective, if this medication is not used appropriately. To maximize the effectiveness of elvitegravir, it must be taken as part of a group of HIV medications that also includes ritonavir.
Stopping the medication: If you stop taking this medication, your HIV infection could get worse. Take the medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor, and do not stop taking the medication without checking with your doctor first.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if elvitegravir passes into breast milk. Women who have HIV infection are cautioned against breast-feeding because of the risk of passing HIV to a baby who does not have the infection.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.Seniors: Seniors may be at an increased risk of side effects of this medication.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between elvitegravir and any of the following:
- antacids (e.g., aluminum hydroxide, calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide)
- certain "azole" antifungals (itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
- estrogen birth control pills
- HIV non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs; e.g., delaviridine, efavirenz, etravirine, nevirapine)
- St. John's wort
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Vitekta