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Kaletra is a medicine used with other anti-HIV medicines to treat HIV-1 infection. Kaletra is available as tablets and an oral solution.
How does this medication work?
Kaletra works by blocking a chemical in your body that is needed for HIV-1 to multiply, thereby lowering the amount of HIV-1 in your blood. Kaletra may also help increase the number of T cells (white blood cells that help your body fight infections) in your body, allowing your immune system to improve.
Kaletra does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS, and you may continue to experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection. See your healthcare provider regularly.
What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?
What: In clinical studies, 75% of people treated with Kaletra in combination with other anti-HIV medicines achieved and maintained low levels of HIV-1 in their blood. Lowering the amount of HIV-1 in your blood may lower the chance of death or infection that happens when your immune system is weak.
When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's instructions. It is important that you take Kaletra exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.
How do I know it is working?
Your healthcare provider may order tests regularly to check how well this medication is working.
The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.
More common side effects may include: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, increased cholesterol (fats in your blood) or triglyceride (a type of fat in your blood) levels.
Less common side effects may include:
Liver problems, with symptoms such as loss of appetite, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, dark-colored urine, pale-colored stools, itchy skin, or stomach area pain.
Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or stomach area pain.
Changes in the electrical activity of your heart, with symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, feeling faint, or an abnormal heartbeat.
High blood sugar levels possibly leading to diabetes, with symptoms such as increase in thirst or urinating more often than usual.
Changes in your body fat, such as increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck ("buffalo hump"), breast, and around the back, chest, and stomach area. Loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face may also occur.
Changes in your immune system, which gets stronger and begins to fight infections that have been hidden in your body for a long time, leading to new symptoms after starting HIV treatment.
Serious allergic reactions, with symptoms such as hives; trouble breathing; or swelling of your face, lips, or tongue.
Do not take Kaletra if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.
Do not take Kaletra if you are currently taking alfuzosin, cisapride, ergot medicines (such as dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, or methylergonovine), lovastatin, lurasidone, orally administered midazolam, pimozide, rifampin, sildenafil (when used for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension), simvastatin, St. John's wort, or triazolam.
Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Kaletra. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver problems (including hepatitis B or C infection), diabetes, hemophilia (a bleeding disorder), heart or pancreas problems, or low blood potassium levels, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.
Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you, based on your condition and previous medications.
Infants and children 14 days-18 years: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on his/her height and/or weight.
If you are pregnant, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.
Take Kaletra exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Kaletra without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Swallow Kaletra tablets whole. Do not chew, break, or crush the tablets.
Take Kaletra tablets with or without food.
Take Kaletra oral solution with food.
Kaletra oral solution contains alcohol. You should not take Kaletra oral solution if you are pregnant. If your child accidently drinks more than the recommended dose or experiences heart or breathing problems, call your healthcare provider immediately.
Kaletra may reduce the effectiveness of estrogen-based birth controls. If you are taking or using an estrogen-based birth control, use an additional or alternative method of birth control (such as a condom) while you are taking Kaletra.
When your medicine starts to run low, get more from your healthcare provider or pharmacy. Do not run out of Kaletra. The virus in your blood may increase and the virus may become harder to treat.
Do not do anything that can spread HIV-1 to others, such as sharing needles or other injection equipment, sharing personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them (such as toothbrushes or razor blades), or having any kind of unprotected sex.
If Kaletra is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Kaletra may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.
Taking Kaletra during pregnancy has not been associated with an increased risk of birth defects. You should always discuss with your healthcare provider whether Kaletra is right for you. Because Kaletra oral solution contains alcohol, do not take Kaletra oral solution during pregnancy. Mothers with HIV-1 should not breastfeed because HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in the breast milk. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
If you become pregnant while taking Kaletra, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of this medicine during pregnancy.
If you miss a dose of Kaletra, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
Store Kaletra tablets at room temperature.
Store Kaletra oral solution in the refrigerator. Kaletra oral solution may be stored at room temperature if used within 2 months.
In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222
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