Fortovase (Saquinavir Mesylate)
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Saquinavir Mesylate Information
(sa kwin' a veer)
Before taking saquinavir,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to saquinavir, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in saquinavir capsules or tablets. Your doctor may tell you not to take saquinavir. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications: alfuzosin (Uroxatral); bepridil (not available in the U.S.; Vascor); cisapride (not available in the U.S.; Propulsid); chlorpromazine; clozapine (Clozaril, Fazaclo, Versacloz); dapsone (Aczone); disopyramide (Norpace); ergot medications such as dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), ergoloid mesylates (Hydergine), ergonovine (Ergotrate), ergotamine (Ergomar, in Cafergot, in Migergot, others), methylergonovine (Methergine), and methysergide (Sansert; no longer available in the U.S.); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-mycin, Erythrocin); haloperidol (Haldol); certain medications for irregular heartbeat such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Nexterone, Pacerone), dofetilide (Tikosyn), flecainide, lidocaine (Lidoderm; in Xylocaine with Epinephrine), propafenone (Rhythmol), quinidine (in Nuedexta); quinine (Qualaquin); lovastatin (Altoprev); lurasidone (Latuda); mesoridazine (Serentil; no longer available in the U.S.); midazolam (Versed) by mouth; pentamidine (Nebupent, Pentam); pimozide (Orap); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate); sildenafil (only Revatio brand used for lung disease); simvastatin (Zocor, in Vytorin); tacrolimus (Astagraf XL, Envarsus XR, Protopic); thioridazine; trazodone; triazolam (Halcion); or ziprasidone (Geodon). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take saquinavir if you are taking one or more of these medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and voriconazole (Vfend); benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax), clorazepate (Gen-Xene, Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), and flurazepam; beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin, in Tenoretic), labetalol (Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL, in Dutoprol, in Loressor HCT), nadolol (Corgard, in Corzide), and propranolol (Hemangeol, Inderal, Innopran); bosentan (Tracleer); calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine (Norvasc, in Caduet), diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Tiazac, others), felodipine, isradipine, nicardipine, nifedipine (Adalat, Afeditab CR, Procardia), nimodipine (Nymalize), nisoldipine (Sular), and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Verelan, others); certain cholesterol-lowering medications (statins) such as atorvastatin (Lipitor, in Caduet) and rosuvastatin (Crestor); clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare); dexamethasone; digoxin (Lanoxin); fentanyl (Abstral, Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora); fluticasone (Flonase, Flovent, in Advair); certain immunosuppressants such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune); insulin or oral medications for diabetes; medications to treat HIV or AIDS including atazanavir (Reyataz, in Evotaz), delavirdine (Rescriptor), efavirenz (Sustiva, in Atripla), enfuvirtide (Fuzeon), indinavir (Crixivan), lopinavir (in Kaletra), maraviroc (Selzentry), nelfinavir (Viracept), nevirapine (Viramune), or tipranavir (Aptivus); certain medications for irregular heartbeat such as procainamide and sotalol (Betapace, Sorine); medications for mental illness and nausea; medications to treat seizures such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol, others), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), and phenobarbital; methadone (Dolophine, Methadose); omeprazole (Prilosec, in Zegerid); certain phosphodiesterase (PDE5) inhibitors such as sildenafil (Viagra), quetiapine (Seroquel); tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn); rifabutin (Mycobutin); and certain tricyclic antidepressants including amitriptyline and imipramine (Surmontil, Tofranil). Other medications may interact with saquinavir, so be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking or plan to take, especially St. John's wort and garlic capsules.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease, a prolonged QT interval (rare heart problem that may cause irregular heartbeat, fainting, or sudden death), or low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood. Also tell your doctor if you have complete atrioventricular (AV) block (slowed electrical activity in the heart) and you do not have a pacemaker. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take saquinavir.
- tell your doctor if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, if you have ever taken any form of saquinavir in the past, and if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had diabetes. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had an irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol or triglycerides (fats in the blood); hemophilia (a bleeding disorder); or heart or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking saquinavir, call your doctor. You should not breast-feed if you are infected with HIV or are taking saquinavir.
- you should know that saquinavir may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections). Talk to your doctor about using another form of birth control.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking saquinavir.
- you should be aware that your body fat may increase or move to different areas of your body, such as your upper back, neck (''buffalo hump''), breasts, and around your stomach. You may notice a loss of body fat from your face, legs, and arms.
- you should know that you may experience hyperglycemia (increases in your blood sugar) while you are taking this medication, even if you do not already have diabetes. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms while you are taking saquinavir: extreme thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, blurred vision, or weakness. It is very important to call your doctor as soon as you have any of these symptoms, because high blood sugar that is not treated can cause a serious condition called ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis may become life-threatening if it is not treated at an early stage. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, breath that smells fruity, and decreased consciousness.
- you should know that while you are taking medications to treat HIV infection, your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight other infections that were already in your body. This may cause you to develop symptoms of those infections. If you have new or worsening symptoms after starting treatment with saquinavir, be sure to tell your doctor.
- stomach pain
- back pain
- dry lips or skin
- blistering or peeling skin
- flu-like symptoms
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- extreme tiredness
- lack of energy
- loss of appetite
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- slow, irregular, or pounding heartbeat