Kaletra is a combination of lopinavir and ritonavir. Both ritonavir and lopinavir belong to a type of drugs called HIV protease inhibitors. The amount of lopinavir is boosted by ritonavir therefore the working of lopinavir improves.
Composition of Kaletra
The molecular formula of lopinavir is C37H48N4O5 with a molecular weight of 628.8 g/mol. It is white to light tan in colored powder. The chemical formula of ritonavir is C37H48N6O5S2 with the molar mass of 720.95 g. Both Lopinavir and ritonavir are freely soluble in ethanol and methanol, practically insoluble in water and soluble in isopropanol.
Kaletra along with some other antiretroviral drugs is used to control HIV1 infection in pediatric and adult patients. This drug helps to reduce the amount of HIV in the body for a proper functioning of the immune system. The chances of having HIV complications are lowered by Kaletra. Kaletra does not cure HIV infection.
How to Use Kaletra
Kaletra tablets are orally administered and may be consumed with/without meal. The tablets should not be broken, crushed or chewed but consumed as whole. The oral solution of Kaletra must be taken with meal.
Patients who are undergoing the Kaletra therapy have shown symptoms of pancreatitis. Fatalities have been observed in some cases.
Common side effects of Kaletra which are reported are:
- Trouble sleeping
- Unexplained weight loss
- Severe headaches
- Infectious signs
- Persistent muscle weakness/aches
- Fast/irregular heartbeat
- Signs of gullian-barre syndrome
- Viral infection
- Increased level of alanine aminotransferase
- Dry skin
- Abdominal pain
- Elevated serum lipase
- Increased values of amylase
Contraindications of Kaletra
Inform your pharmacist/doctor about your past medical conditions before consuming the medicine especially of: heart problems, high blood triglyceride/cholesterol levels, bleeding problems, hepatitis B or C infection or liver disorder.
This drug is not suitable for people with previously significant hypersensitivity (such as erythema multiforme, angioedema, stevens-johnson syndrome, epidermal necrolysis, urticaria) to ritonavir or any of its components. Co-administration of this drug is contraindicated with all those highly dependent CYP3A medications because of the increased plasma concentrations which can cause life-threatening and adverse reactions. Kaletra co-administered with CYP3A inducers is also contraindicated where significantly decreased plasma concentrations of lopinavir may have the potential risk of loss of virologic response and cross-resistance and possible resistance.
Ritonavir/lopinavir interacts with several medicines including: tipranavir, cobicistat, fosamprenavir etc.
Kaletra and Pregnancy
Inform the doctor before using Kaletra if you are pregnant. HIV drugs are now generally given to the HIV infected pregnant mothers. Treatment reduces the risk of HIV transmission into the baby. It is not known whether this drug is excreted in the human milk but HIV-1 infected females should not breastfeed their babies as postnatal transmission risk of HIV-1 is very high. Because of the chances of HIV-1 transmission in nursing babies, women are advised not to breastfeed.
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