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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Severe rash or moderate rash with other symptoms. Call your doctor immediately. High blood sugar (diabetes) has occurred in patients taking drugs of this class, although a cause-and-effect relationship has not been established. Call your doctor if you develop increased thirst or excessive urination.
Common

Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, rash, diarrhea.
Less Common

Taste disorders, numbness, tingling, prickling sensation, depression.
Amprenavir


Drug Class:
Antiviral/protease inhibitor

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: No

Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Capsules, oral solution

Why Prescribed
To treat advanced HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), usually in combination with other drugs. While not a cure for HIV infection, this drug may suppress the replication of the virus and delay the progression of the disease.

How It Works
Amprenavir blocks the activity of a viral protease, an enzyme that is needed by HIV to reproduce. Blocking the protease causes HIV to make copies that cannot infect new cells.

Range and Frequency
Capsules-- Adults and children age 13 to 16: 1200 mg (8 capsules) 2 times a day, in combination with other antiretroviral drugs. For children age 13 to 16 weighing less than 50 kg (1 kg = 2.2 lbs) or children age 4 to 12: 20 mg per 2.2 lbs 2 times a day or 15 mg per 2.2 lbs 3 times a day (maximum daily dose is 2400 mg), in combination with other antiretroviral drugs. Oral solution-- For children age 13 to 16 weighing less than 50 kg or children age 4 to 12: 22.5 mg per 2.2 lbs 2 times a day or 17 mg per 2.2 lbs 3 times a day (maximum daily dose is 2800 mg), in combination with other antiretroviral drugs. The capsules and the oral solution are not interchangeable. Do not change forms without consulting your doctor.

Onset of Effect
Unknown. With most antiretroviral drugs, an early response can be seen within the first few days of therapy, but the maximum effect may take 12 to 16 weeks.

Duration of Action
Unknown. Effects of the drug may be prolonged if amprenavir is used in combination with other effective drugs and the virus is maximally suppressed.

Dietary Advice
Amprenavir can be taken with or without food. However, taking it with a meal high in fat could reduce the absorption of the drug from the intestine.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not refrigerate.

Missed Dose
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember up to four hours late. If more than four hours, wait for the next scheduled dose. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
The decision to stop taking the drug should be made in consultation with your physician.

Prolonged Use
See your doctor regularly for tests and examinations.

Over 60
It is not known whether amprenavir causes different or more severe side effects in older patients.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Do not drive or engage in hazardous work until you determine how the medicine affects you.

Alcohol
Avoid alcohol if liver function is impaired.

Pregnancy
Amprenavir has been shown to cause birth defects in animal studies. Adequate studies of use during pregnancy have not been done; consult your doctor for specific advice. There is no evidence that the drug will reduce the risk of transmitting the virus from the mother to the fetus.

Breast Feeding
It is unknown whether amprenavir passes into breast milk; however, to avoid transmitting the virus to an uninfected child, women infected with HIV should not breast feed.

Infants and Children
The safety and effectiveness of amprenavir have not been established for children under four years of age.

Special Concerns
Do not switch between the capsules and solution without consulting your doctor; the body absorbs them at different rates. Taking amprenavir does not eliminate the risk of passing the AIDS virus to other persons. Take appropriate preventive measures.

Overdose Symptoms
No cases of overdose have been reported.

What to Do
If you suspect an overdose or if someone takes a much larger dose than prescribed, call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
Amprenavir should not be used at the same time as astemizole, bepridil, cisapride, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, midazolam, triazolam, rifampin, oral contraceptives, and vitamin E supplements. Use extreme caution if you are taking amiodarone, systemic lidocaine, tricyclic antidepressants, quinidine, warfarin, sildenafil, phenobarbital, phenytoin, carbamazepine, and statin (cholesterol-lowering) drugs. Patients taking antacids or didanosine should take them at least one hour before or after amprenavir. Rifabutin dosage may have to be adjusted by your doctor. Consult your doctor if you are taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Food Interactions
Meals high in fat could reduce the absorption of amprenavir.

Disease Interactions
Consult your doctor for advice if you have any other medical condition, especially hemophilia. Use of amprenavir can cause complications in patients with diseases of the liver, which works to remove the drug from the body.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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