What is Tipranavir?

L. Whitaker

Tipranavir is the generic name of the brand name drug Aptivus®, which is a protease inhibitor used for the treatment of symptoms related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This medication serves to reduce the amount of HIV in the blood by blocking an enzyme called protease that aids in viral replication. Aptivus® is used in combination with other anti-HIV drugs, including one called ritonavir, or Norvir®. It is taken by mouth twice daily. This medication is intended to slow the development of HIV; it does not cure the condition itself or prevent an individual from transmitting the virus to others.

Tipranavir and ritonovir are used in some HIV-positive individuals as one component of a daily treatment regimen.
Tipranavir and ritonovir are used in some HIV-positive individuals as one component of a daily treatment regimen.

Aptivus® is taken orally, either in capsule form or as an oral solution. It should always be taken as part of a drug cocktail including Norvir® and other medicines as prescribed by a doctor. A typical dose for adults is 500 mg of tipranavir with 200 mg of ritonavir, taken twice daily. In children, an appropriate dose is established by a physician based on the child's body weight.

Tipranavir can interfere with the effectiveness of some types of birth control pills.
Tipranavir can interfere with the effectiveness of some types of birth control pills.

Tipranavir is indicated for use in individuals with a resistant strain of HIV that has not responded well to previous treatment with other anti-HIV medications. It is not recommended for use in people with a sulfa allergy, women who are pregnant, or people who have not had prior treatment for HIV. This medication can interfere with some types of birth control pills.

Serious side effects of Aptivus® can include liver disease or bleeding from the brain, both of which could be life-threatening. Other common side effects are fever, rash, nausea, headache, and stomach pain. Dangerous interactions could occur with grapefruit juice, some vitamin or herbal supplements certain over-the-counter medicines such as antacids, and many types of prescription medications. As the list of potential interactions is extensive, it is recommended that an individual who takes tipranavir should carry a typed list of medication, supplements, and so forth to be used as a quick reference in case of emergency. These individuals should also tell health care providers about their use of Aptivus® and other HIV drugs before undergoing any kind of surgery, including dental surgery.

Tipranavir and ritonavir are used in some HIV-positive individuals as one component of a daily treatment regimen. Regular exercise, healthy nutrition, and adequate sleep are also believed to be significant factors in treating the symptoms of HIV and AIDS. Stress reduction through meditation, yoga, and similar activities can also aid in the overall health of an individual with HIV.

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