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Isentress is an oral tablet made up of antiretroviral drug called raltegravir. We carry the brand choice of this medication in 400mg. 

Isentress is a medication used for the treatment of the human immunodeficiency virus, more commonly known as HIV. HIV is a virus most commonly contracted through unprotected sex, but can also be contracted through sharing items like razors and toothbrushes, or even at birth if the mother is infected. HIV causes the immune system, your body’s natural bodyguard against infection and disease, to weaken slowly over time. Isentress may also used to prevent acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) from occurring in those with HIV. If HIV goes untreated for too long, a person will develop AIDS, which is when your immune system has taken too much damage (caused by HIV) and can no longer protect against infection and disease. This outcome can become very serious and even fatal.

Isentress (raltegravir) is effective in treating HIV and preventing AIDS because of its power to prevent the virus from multiplying in the body, which puts the virus’s progression at a halt (stop).

Your doctor will tell you before prescribing you Isentress (raltegravir) exactly how to take this medication. Follow his or her directions, they can usually be found on the prescription label if you forget.

Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water.

Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. Ensure you do not miss a dose by taking the tablet at the same time every day. You may also use a pillbox or write/set reminders to help you remember.

The lid should be tightly closed when not in use and kept in room temperature. Moisture and heat may affect the drug; keep protected from moisture and heat.


This medication should not be used by those who are allergic to raltegravir.

Dose adjustment or special precautions may be required

Before taking Isentress, tell your doctor if you have a muscle disorder, kidney disease, liver disease, mental illness or depression and if you are on dialysis.


Isentress, in rare cases, has caused a severe skin reaction that has potential to be fatal. If you notice signs (see side effects) of a severe skin reaction; discontinue use immediately and contact your doctor.

Other rare cases have shown that Isentress may cause the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, a condition that results in kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you notice signs (see side effects) of this condition.

This medication has an effect on the immune system and may make it easier for your body to develop certain infections or disorders. Monitor yourself for the signs (see side effects) of a new infection.

Be aware

HIV can be passed onto babies if the mother is not treated during the time of birth. This is why it is important to follow your doctor's instructions, especially if you are pregnant; consult your doctor if you are pregnant.

Women with HIV should not breastfeed nursing infants, the virus can be passed through breast milk.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Isentress (raltegravir) may include:

nausea; headache, dizziness; tired feeling; or sleep problems (insomnia)

The above side effects should not alarm you.

Serious side effects of Isentress (raltegravir) may include:

chest pain (especially when you breathe), dry cough, wheezing, feeling short of breath; cold sores, sores on your genital or anal area; rapid heart rate, feeling anxious or irritable, weakness or prickly feeling, problems with balance or eye movement; trouble speaking or swallowing, severe lower back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control; or swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid), menstrual changes, impotence, loss of interest in sex.

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

Contact your doctor if you notice signs of…

a new infection – fever, night sweats, swollen glands, mouth sores, diarrhea, stomach pain, weight loss;

severe skin reaction – fever, general ill feeling, muscle or joint pain, extreme tiredness, trouble breathing, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling; and

skeletal muscle tissue breakdown – unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark-colored urine.


Is this product safe for children?

It is safe for children who weigh at least 6.6 pounds (3kg). 

What does this medication look like?

Isentress is commonly oval shape but can also be round. The tablet can come in pink, orange, or yellow and may or may not have a score line (for easy splitting). The appearance may vary if you purchase a generic version of this medication.

How should I store this medication?

Keep this medication stored at room temperature, away from light, heat and moisture. Keep hidden from children and pets.

What is the average dose for a pediatric patient with HIV?

A child using this medication would take 400mg twice a day.

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