contains the active ingredient saquinavir
Consumer Medicine Information
NOTICE: This Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) is intended for persons
living in Australia. This page contains answers to some common
. It does
not contain all the information that is known about
. It does not take the
place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist. All medicines have risks
and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risk of you using this medicine
against the benefits he/she expects it will have for you. If you have
any concerns about using this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Bookmark or print this page, you may need to read it again.
What INVIRASE is used for
INVIRASE belongs to a group of medicines called anti-HIV drugs. Within this group, INVIRASE belongs to a class of drugs called
HIV protease inhibitors. INVIRASE is used for the treatment of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). It works by interfering
with the viral reproductive cycle.
INVIRASE should be used only in combination with ritonavir (Norvir®) and other medicines to treat the HIV virus.
Please note that you should always report any changes in your condition to your doctor to ensure that any infections which
occur due to your low immunity (called opportunistic infections) are treated promptly.
Your doctor may have prescribed INVIRASE for another purpose.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions why INVIRASE has been prescribed for you.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
Before you take INVIRASE
When you must not take it
Do not take INVIRASE if:
1. you have allergies to saquinavir or any ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
2. you have allergies to ritonavir
3. you have severe liver disease
4. if you were born with or have
any condition with abnormal electrocardiograms (ECG- electrical recording of the heart)
a salt imbalance in the blood, especially low concentrations of potassium (hypokalaemia) which are currently not corrected
a very slow heart rate
a weak heart (heart failure)
5. you are taking medicines that cause abnormal ECG changes
These medicines include:
certain heart medicines such as amiodarone, bepridil, flecainide, hydroquinidine, lidocaine, propafenone, quinidine, sotalol
medicines to treat depression such as trazodone
certain medicines to treat infections such as e.g. erythromycin
medicines used to treat allergic conditions (antihistamines) such as terfenadine and astemizole
cisapride, a medicine used to treat stomach reflux.
pimozide, a medicine used to treat psychoses
methadone, a medicine used to treat opioid dependence
6. you are taking certain other medicines
Such as medicines to:
treat migraine headaches such as ergotamine, dihydroergotamine ergonovine, methylergonovine , and methysergide;
help you sleep at night or for sedation before surgery such as oral midazolam and triazolam
lower cholesterol levels in the blood such as simvastatin, lovastatin, atorvastatin, cerivastatin and fluvastatin
prevent or treat tuberculosis such as rifampicin
treat people infected with HIV such as tipranavir or lopinavir/ritonavir
7. the package is torn or shows signs of tampering
8. the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack has passed
If you take it after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well.
If you are not sure if you should be taking INVIRASE, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not give INVIRASE to children less than 12 years of age.
Safety and effectiveness in younger children under 12 have not been established.
Before you start to take it
Your doctor must know all about the following before you start to take INVIRASE.
1. if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
It is not known whether INVIRASE is harmful to an unborn baby when taken by a pregnant woman. If there is a need to take INVIRASE
when you are pregnant your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits to you and the unborn baby.
2. if you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed
It is not known whether INVIRASE passes into breast milk. Your doctor will decide whether or not you should breast-feed.
3. if you are allergic to any other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives
4. If you have a history of
arrhythmias or irregular heart rhythms
a very slow heart rate (bradycardia)
a weak heart (heart failure)
a disease of the heart muscle
INVIRASE can change your heart's ECG (a test to check your heart rhythm ie electrocardiogram). This is more common if you
are female or elderly.
If you experience palpitations or any changes in your heart rate during treatment, you should tell your doctor immediately.
Your doctor may wish to perform an ECG to measure your heart rhythm.
5. if you have hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption (autosomal
INVIRASE tablets contain lactose
6. if you have any other health problems including:
haemophilia (a condition where patients have a tendency to bruise and bleed easily)
diabetes or high blood sugar levels
high cholesterol levels and high triglyceride levels, a blood fat
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you take INVIRASE.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines including any that you have bought without a prescription
from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
There are some medicines that CANNOT BE TAKEN with INVIRASE (see "Before you take INVIRASE" above).
Other medicines may interfere with INVIRASE. These include:
medicines used to treat fungal infections such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, miconazole and fluconazole
medicines used to treat epilepsy such as carbamazepine, phenobarbitone and phenytoin
medicines used to treat heart conditions called calcium channel blockers such as felodipine, nifedipine, nicardipine, diltiazem,
nimodipine, verapamil, amlodipine, nisoldipine, isradipine
certain heart or blood pressure medicines
medicine to help you sleep at night or sedate you before surgery such as intravenous midazolam
antibiotics such as clarithromycin, clindamycin, azithromycin, quinupristin/dalfopristin, rifabutin
medicines used to treat diseases related to the acid in the stomach such as omeprazole, esomeprazole, pantoprazole, lansoprazole,
St John's wort (hypericum perforatum) which is a herbal product
medicines used to treat HIV infection such as indinavir, delavirdine, didanosine and efavirenz
medicines used to treat erectile dysfunction such as sildenafil, tadalafil and vardenafil
medicines used to suppress the immune system such as cyclosporin, tacrolimus and rapamycin,
warfarin; a medicine to prevent blood clots
medicines used to treat fast or irregular heart rate such as digoxin and disopyramide
quinine; a medicine use to treat night cramps and malaria
medicines used to treat tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy such as rifabutin and dapsone.
Please consult your doctor if you are using rifabutin
strong pain killers usually used in anaesthesia such as alfentanil and fentanyl
medicines used to treat anxiety such as alprazolam, diazepam, clorazepate, flurazepam
medicines used to treat depression such as nefazodone, tricyclic or tetracyclic antidepressants
oestrogen-based oral contraceptive such as ethinyloestradiol,
medicines which reduce the activity of the immune system or treat asthma and hay fever such as dexamethasone, fluticasone
Please consult your doctor if using intranasal or inhaled corticosteroid
These medicines may be affected by INVIRASE or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicine,
or you may need to take different medicines.
Your doctor or pharmacist has a complete list of medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking INVIRASE .
If you have not told your doctor or pharmacist about any of the above, tell them before you start taking INVIRASE.
How to take INVIRASE
How much to take
Take INVIRASE only when prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will tell you how many INVIRASE film-coated tablets to take
INVIRASE should only be taken only in combination with ritonavir (Norvir®), a medicine used to treat HIV.
The recommended is two 500 mg film-coated tablets of INVIRASE two times a day (a total of four INVIRASE tablets per day),
with one 100 mg capsule of ritonavir (Norvir®) two times a day (a total of two Norvir® capsules).
Both medicines should be taken at the same time.
How to take it
Tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water.
When to take it
Take INVIRASE tablets within two hours after a meal to ensure maximum absorption and effectiveness.
Taking INVIRASE with a meal that is high in calories, fat and protein increases your body's ability to absorb the medicine
and in turn increases its effectiveness.
Taking your medicine at the same time each day will have the best effect on the HIV infection. It will also help you remember
to take the medicine.
How long to take INVIRASE
INVIRASE helps control your HIV infection but does not cure it. Therefore continue taking INVIRASE for as long as your doctor
If you forget to take INVIRASE
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise,
take it as soon as you remember together with some food and then go back to taking it as you would normally.
If you are not sure whether to skip the dose, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not take a double a dose to make up for one you have missed.
In case of an overdose
If you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much INVIRASE, immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information
Centre (telephone 13 11 26) or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital. Do this even if there are no signs of
discomfort or poisoning.
Keep telephone numbers for these places handy.
If you are not sure what to do, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
You may need urgent medical attention.
While you are taking INVIRASE
Things you must do
Tell all doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking INVIRASE.
Do not take any other medicines whether they require a prescription or not without first telling your doctor.
Continue to use safe sexual practices while taking INVIRASE. INVIRASE has not been shown to decrease the chance of giving
HIV to your partner.
If you are using an oestrogen-based oral contraceptive, you should also use an additional type of contraception.
If you become pregnant while taking INVIRASE, tell your doctor.
Tell your doctor if, for any reason, you have not taken your medicine exactly as prescribed.
Otherwise, your doctor may think that it was not effective and change your treatment unnecessarily.
Tell your doctor if you feel that INVIRASE is not helping your condition.
Be sure to keep all of your appointments with your doctor so that your progress can be checked.
Your doctor may want to take regular blood samples to measure your blood glucose levels or liver enzymes.
Things you must not do
Do not stop taking INVIRASE or change the dose without your doctor's advice. Do not let yourself run out of medicine over
the weekend or on holidays.
Do not give INVIRASE to anyone else even if their symptoms seem similar to yours.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how INVIRASE affects you.
INVIRASE generally does not cause problems with your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. However, INVIRASE may cause
dizziness in some people. Make sure you know how you react to INVIRASE before you drive a car or operate machinery.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking INVIRASE.
INVIRASE helps most people with HIV infection but it may have unwanted side effects in some people. All medicines can have
side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of
the side effects.
Frequently it is difficult to tell whether side effects are the result of taking INVIRASE, effects of the HIV disease or side
effects of other medicines you may be taking. For this reason it is very important to inform your doctor of any change in
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
stomach discomfort/pain, distention, wind
vomiting or feeling sick
generally feeling unwell
skin problems such as itching and rash
heartburn, indigestion or belching after eating
tingling, numbness, weakness of the arms or legs
inability to sleep or increased need for sleep
increased or decreased appetite
taste disturbance or loss of taste
decreased libido (sex drive)
shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest tightness or rapid deep breathing
muscle spasms, fits or seizures
allergic reaction- shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts
of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin
being short of breath when exercising,
yellowing of skin or eyes
increased bruising or bleeding
These are the more common side effects of INVIRASE. For the most part these have been mild.
There are some side effects that may occur with HIV the protease inhibitor class of drug. As mentioned above, INVIRASE belongs
to this class of drugs, and may cause the following side effects:
diabetes (excessive thirst, increased appetite with weight loss, feeling tired, drowsy, weak, depressed, irritable and generally
unwell, and passing large amounts of urine)
body fat distribution changes including loss of fat from the limbs and increased fat around the stomach, breast enlargement
could also occur in women
metabolic abnormalities such as hypertriglyceridemia (increased blood levels of triglycerides); insulin resistance (diminished
effectiveness of insulin in lowering the levels of blood sugar); hypercholesterolemia (increased blood levels of cholesterol);
and hyperlactatemia (increased levels of lactic acid in the blood)
This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Others may occur in some people and there may be some side effects
not yet known.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell, even if it is not on this list.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand anything in this list.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
After taking INVIRASE
Keep your INVIRASE tablets in the bottle until it is time to take them.
If you take them out of the bottle they may not keep well.
Keep INVIRASE in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C. Do not store it, or any other medicine, in a bathroom
or near a sink.
Do not leave it in the car or on window sills.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep INVIRASE where young children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking INVIRASE, or the INVIRASE has passed its expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to
do with any tablets that are left over.
What INVIRASE looks like
INVIRASE 500 mg tablets are light orange to brownish orange in colour and oval in shape. The tablets are marked "SQV 500"
on one side and "Roche" on the other side. They come in a white plastic bottle.
Active ingredient - saquinavir
each tablet contains 500 mg saquinavir as saquinavir mesylate.
Inactive ingredients -
The tablets also contain:
microcrystalline cellulose (460)
magnesium stearate (470)
colourants, iron oxide red (172), iron oxide yellow (172) and titanium dioxide (171).
INVIRASE tablets are gluten free.
INVIRASE 500 mg tablets come in packs of 120 tablets.
INVIRASE is distributed by:
Roche Products Pty Limited
ABN 70 000 132 865
4 - 10 Inman Road
Dee Why NSW 2099
Customer enquiries: 1800 233 950
Please check with your pharmacist for the latest Consumer Medicine Information.
Australian Registration Number
INVIRASE 500 mg tablets AUST R 119419.
This leaflet was prepared on 13 December 2012