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What is Tipranavir (Aptivus) Used For? Side Effects and Dosage

What is Tipranavir (Aptivus) Used For? Side Effects and Dosage

What is Tipranavir (Aptivus)?

Tipranavir is an antiretroviral drug in the class of protease inhibitor. The tipranavir brand name is Aptivus, manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. Aptivus should only be taken by patients who have demonstrated a resistance to other protease inhibitors due to past use of other anti-HIV drugs.

What is This Medication Used For?

Tipranavir is used in combination with other antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV in treatment-experienced patients. While there is no cure for HIV, this medication is a medication prescribed as part of antiretroviral therapy, or ART, to help slow the production of HIV in the body.

Tipranavir and other protease inhibitors are used to interfere with the enzyme protease, which contributes to the creation of new viruses by HIV-infected cells. By inhibiting the activity of protease, the drug slows down or stops the production of new viruses by HIV-infected cells.

How to Take It

Aptivus is taken in combination with other antiretroviral drugs of different classes, typically nucleoside analogues (‘nukes’) and/or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs, or ‘non-nukes’).

It is typically taken in combination with ritonavir (Norvir) with food.

Tipranavir Side Effects

Both common and severe side effects have been reported in association with the use of tipranavir. Severe side effects are rare.

Common Side Effects

  • Rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Lack of energy
  • Headaches

Severe Side Effects

  • Intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding inside the skull)
  • Liver damage (hepatitis and liver failure)

Aptivus Dosage

Aptivus comes in 250 mg capsules. The standard dose for adults is 500 mg (two 250 mg capsules) taken with 200 mg (two 100 mg capsules) of ritonavir (Norvir), twice daily with food. It is not recommended to take tipranavir without ritonavir.

Drug Interactions

Many drug interactions have been reported with tipranavir, so it is important to consult with a doctor or pharmacist about any other prescription or non-prescription medications you are taking, including herbs.

It is recommended that the following drugs not be used in combination with tipranavir:

  • Drugs for abnormal heart rhythms, including amiodarone (Cordarone), bepridil (Vascor), flecainide (Tambocor), propafenone (Rhythmol), quinidine (Quiniglute, Quinidex)
  • Antihistamines, including astemizole (Hismanal), terfenadine (Seldane)
  • Anti-migraine drugs (ergot derivatives), including dihydroergotamine (Migranal), methylergonovine, ergonovine (Ergotrate), ergotamine (Ergomar)
  • Antibiotics, including rifampicin (Rifadin)
  • Gastrointestinal motility agents, including cisapride (Prepulsid)
  • Anti-psychotics, including pimozide (Orap)
  • Sedatives/sleeping pills, including midazolam (Versed), triazolam (Halcion)
  • Erectile dysfunction drugs, including vardenafil (Levitra)

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