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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ritonavir (Norvir)?
You should not take ritonavir if you are allergic to it.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests:
FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby, but HIV can be passed to your baby if you are not properly treated during pregnancy. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection.
Ritonavir can make birth control pills or patches less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking ritonavir.
You should not breast-feed while you are using ritonavir. Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed a baby. Even if your baby is born without HIV, the virus may be passed to the baby in your breast milk.
How should I take ritonavir (Norvir)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Do not crush, chew, or break a ritonavir tablet. Swallow it whole.
Shake ritonavir liquid well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Liquid ritonavir can be mixed with chocolate milk or a nutrition drink such as Ensure. Drink the mixture within 1 hour after mixing.
Use ritonavir regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.
Your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
Store ritonavir capsules in the refrigerator or at room temperature, away from heat or moisture. If you store the capsules at room temperature you must use them within 30 days.
Store ritonavir tablets at room temperature away from heat or moisture.
Store ritonavir liquid at room temperature with the cap tightly closed. Do not refrigerate.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Resources for Staying Well
- HIV-AIDS: Myths and Facts
- Understanding The Symptoms of AIDS/HIV
- The Top 10 Myths and Misconceptions About HIV and AIDS