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Invirase is an oral capsule made up of an antiviral protease inhibitor called saquinavir mesylate. We carry the brand choice of this medication in 200mg. 

Invirase is used along with ritonavir (this drug is available here at MyDrugCenter) to prevent AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) from occurring in patients with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). HIV is virus that slowly, over time, weakens your immune system, the body’s natural defender against bacteria, infections and other harmful foreign tissues (like disease). When your immune system can no longer defend against infections and disease due to HIV, you then have AIDS. AIDS is a very serious condition and can be fatal; without treatment almost 100% of HIV-infected patients die.

Invirase is effective in the protection against AIDS because it is able to prevent the HIV from multiplying, thus freezing the progression of the disease and preventing AIDS from occurring.

Take Invirase exactly the way your doctor has directed you too. It is important to follow directions given by your doctor to not only avoid adverse interactions and side effects but also to allow for the most effective dose to prevent AIDS. If you forget how your doctor would like you to take Invirase, you may be able to find instructions on the prescription bottle.

This medication should not be taken on its own and must be taken in combination with ritonavir.

Take Invirase with food. You may take it within 2 hours of eating.

Swallow the capsule whole; if you cannot swallow pills, you may carefully open the capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a soft food such as applesauce or jam. If you’re a diabetic who cannot swallow pills; you may carefully open the capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a dose of sorbitol (a laxative).

Store this medication at room temperature away from heat and moisture. Keep the lid tightly closed when not in use.


You should not use this medication if you are a person with serious heart problems, severe liver disease, low blood levels of potassium or magnesium, long QT syndrome (in you or family history), or if you take a medication containing cobicistat.

Life-threatening side effects may be a result if used with alfuzosin, amiodarone, cisapride, dofetilide, flecainide, lidocaine, lovastatin, midazolam, pimozide, propafenone, quinidine, rifampin, sildenafil (Revatio, for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension), simvastatin, trazodone, triazolam, or an ergot medicine such as Ergomar, Cafergot, Ergotrate, Migranal, or Methergine.

Dose adjustment/special precaution may be required.

You should mention to your doctor if you have ever had heart disease, liver disease (including hepatitis B or C), a bleeding disorder called hemophilia, diabetes, or alcoholism.

Possible risks when taking Invirase

This medication may cause a serious heart rhythm problem. Watch for warning signs and contact your doctor right away if you suspect a serious heart rhythm problem (see side effects).

Since this drug is capable of affecting the immune system, you may be more at risk for developing an infection. (see side effects for signs of a new infection).

Be aware

Do not use this medication alone. It must be used in combination with another medication, most commonly, ritonavir.

HIV can be passed into a newborn baby if your HIV is not controlled during the time of birth; consult your doctor if you are pregnant.

Do not breastfeed if you are infected with HIV.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Invirase (Saquinavir Mesylate) may include:

nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain; tired feeling; or changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

The above side effects should not alarm you.

Serious side effects of Invirase (Saquinavir Mesylate) may include:

cough with mucus, chest pain, wheezing, and shortness of breath; trouble speaking or swallowing, problems with balance or eye movement, weakness or prickly feeling; or swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid), menstrual changes, impotence.

If you have any of the above side effects, contact your doctor right away.

Contact your doctor if you notice signs of…

signs of a new infection - fever, night sweats, swollen glands, cold sores, cough, wheezing, diarrhea, weight loss;

heart rhythm problems - fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, sudden dizziness (like you might pass out);

high blood sugar - increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, headache, blurred vision; or

liver problems - upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).


What happens if I stop taking Invirase without consulting my doctor?

Stopping this medication suddenly may cause your HIV to become harder to treat and control using antiviral medicines.

What is the average dose for an adult with HIV?

The standard dose for an adult with HIV is 1,000mg twice a day, usually with 100mg of ritonavir.

Is this product safe for children?

This product is safe for children at least 12 years of age. It is not approved for use in those younger than 12.

How should I store this medication?

Invirase should be stored at room temperature. Protect Invirase from heat and moisture. For safety measures, keep out of reach of children and pets. Ensure the lid is tightly closed when not in use.

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