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What is Amprenavir?

Article Details
  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 26 January 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Amprenavir is used to treat human immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV). It is typically prescribed to be used with other drugs. The drug works to impede the growth of HIV infection. It was once marketed under the brand name Agenerase®, but this was phased out in 2004 in favor of a new liquid form of the drug, called Lexiva®.

As of 2007, Agenerase® has not been available for sale in the United States of America. That same year, the liquid form of amprenavir known as Lexiva® was approved for sale. Agenerase® has been phased out in other countries as the Lexiva® version of the drug has become available.

The drug comes from the protease inhibitors class. In general, this class of drugs works by stopping the production of the protease enzyme which helps cells to grow viruses. It works by preventing HIV-infected T cells from producing more HIV. Amprenavir is often prescribed with another protease inhibitor drug called ritonavir which helps to boost the amount of amprenavir in the blood.

Amprenavir is an oral drug that comes in either liquid or capsule form. The medication is typically prescribed to be taken with or without food two times daily. When taken in capsule form, eight pills must be taken over the course of 24 hours. The drug should not be taken with high-fat foods. Patients should also avoid alcohol while taking the drug.

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Some conditions may make taking amprenavir too risky or at least require that the patient be observed by a doctor while taking the medication. Liver or kidney disease, hemophilia, or diabetes may be problematic. Women who are nursing, pregnant, or planning to become pregnant should also disclose this information to the prescribing doctor.

The mild side effects of taking amprenavir need only be reported to a doctor if they are severe or do not eventually go away. They include headache, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some patients may also experience tingling or a numb sensation in the hands and feet or around the mouth. Stomachache, rash, and a change in taste are also possible symptoms.

More severe side effects of taking amprenavir should be discussed with a doctor as soon as possible. They include fever, sore throat, uncharacteristic tiredness, and chills. Some patients may experience clumsiness; depression; or a change in mood, behavior, or emotions. Seizures; yellowing of the eyes, also known as jaundice; or blistered, swollen skin are other possible side effects.

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