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Why is this medication prescribed?

Darunavir is prescribed for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults and pediatric patients aged 3 years and older. It belongs to a class of medications called protease inhibitors, which work by blocking the activity of HIV protease, an enzyme that is essential for the replication of the virus. By inhibiting this enzyme, darunavir helps to prevent the virus from multiplying and reduces the amount of HIV in the body, thereby slowing down the progression of the disease and improving immune function.

How should this medicine be used?

Darunavir is typically used in combination with other antiretroviral medications as part of an HIV treatment regimen known as antiretroviral therapy (ART) or highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). The combination of medications helps to suppress the replication of the virus more effectively and reduce the risk of developing drug-resistant strains of HIV.

How Darunavir should be used:

  • Dosage: The dosage of Darunavir can vary depending on factors such as the patient’s weight, other medications being taken, and their overall health condition. Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your healthcare provider or as indicated on the prescription label.
  • Administration: Darunavir is available in tablet and oral suspension forms. The tablets should be swallowed whole with water and should not be crushed, chewed, or broken. If you are prescribed the oral suspension, use a dosing syringe or spoon provided with the medication to measure the prescribed dose accurately.
  • Frequency: Darunavir is usually taken once or twice daily, as prescribed by the healthcare provider. It’s important to take the medication at the same time(s) each day to maintain a consistent level of the drug in your body.
  • Food Interaction: Darunavir should be taken with food to increase its absorption and effectiveness. A meal or snack containing fat is recommended when taking Darunavir tablets or oral suspension.
  • Adherence: It’s crucial to adhere to the prescribed dosing schedule and not to skip doses. Missing doses or not taking the medication as directed can lead to the development of drug-resistant HIV strains and may reduce the effectiveness of treatment.
  • Storage: Store Darunavir tablets and oral suspension at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the medication in its original packaging and out of reach of children.
  • Monitoring: Regular monitoring of HIV viral load and CD4 cell count is essential to assess the effectiveness of Darunavir therapy and to adjust the treatment regimen if necessary. Be sure to attend all follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider.

Always consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about how to use Darunavir safely and effectively. They can provide personalized guidance based on your individual medical needs.

Other uses for this medicine

Darunavir is primarily used for the treatment of HIV/AIDS and is not typically prescribed for other medical conditions. However, it’s essential to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding its use, as they may sometimes prescribe medications off-label for certain conditions based on individual circumstances.

What special precautions should I follow?

As for special precautions to follow when taking darunavir:

  • Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider if you have any allergies to darunavir or any other medications. This is crucial to prevent allergic reactions.
  • Medical History: Provide your healthcare provider with your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of liver problems, including hepatitis B or C, or if you have any other medical conditions.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits of taking darunavir with your healthcare provider. They will weigh the potential risks to the fetus or infant against the benefits of HIV treatment.
  • Drug Interactions: Darunavir can interact with other medications, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as herbal supplements. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications and supplements you are currently taking to avoid potentially harmful interactions.
  • Liver Function: Darunavir can affect liver function, and in rare cases, severe liver problems have been reported. Your healthcare provider may perform regular blood tests to monitor your liver function while you are taking darunavir.
  • Pancreatitis: In some cases, darunavir may cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Inform your healthcare provider if you experience symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Rash: Like other HIV medications, darunavir may cause skin rash, which can sometimes be severe. If you develop a rash while taking darunavir, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Immune Reconstitution Syndrome: In HIV-infected patients with severe immune deficiency, there may be an inflammatory response to asymptomatic or residual opportunistic infections during the early weeks of combination antiretroviral treatment, including darunavir. This may necessitate further evaluation and treatment.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and ask any questions you may have about taking darunavir safely and effectively.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with Darunavir. Darunavir should be taken with a meal or snack containing fat to enhance absorption and effectiveness.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

  • Take it As Soon As You Remember: If it’s close to the time of your next dose, skip the missed one and resume your regular dosing schedule.
  • Don’t Double Dose: Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
  • Inform Your Healthcare Provider: If you frequently forget doses, discuss this with your healthcare provider for guidance on managing your medication schedule effectively.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Darunavir, like any medication, can cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Some common side effects of Darunavir may include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in taste
  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Muscle weakness or pain
  • Fever
  • Joint pain

These side effects are usually mild to moderate and may improve as your body adjusts to the medication. However, if any of these side effects persist or worsen, or if you experience any severe side effects, such as severe rash, liver problems, or signs of an allergic reaction (e.g., difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat), it’s essential to contact your healthcare provider promptly.

Additionally, Darunavir may increase the risk of developing certain serious conditions, including liver problems (hepatotoxicity), pancreatitis, and redistribution/accumulation of body fat (lipodystrophy). Your healthcare provider will monitor you for these potential complications during treatment.

Always report any side effects or concerns you have about your medication to your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on managing side effects or adjust your treatment plan if necessary.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and disposal of Darunavir:


  • Room Temperature: Store Darunavir tablets and oral suspension at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.
  • Original Packaging: Keep the medication in its original packaging to protect it from light and moisture.
  • Keep Out of Reach of Children: Store Darunavir in a secure location out of the reach of children and pets.


  • Follow Local Guidelines: Dispose of unused or expired Darunavir tablets and oral suspension according to local regulations or guidelines.
  • Do Not Flush: Do not flush medications down the toilet unless instructed to do so. Instead, consult with your pharmacist or local waste disposal company on how to properly dispose of medications.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Seek Medical Help: In case of an overdose or emergency, such as accidentally taking too much Darunavir, contact your local emergency services or poison control center immediately.
  • Symptom Management: If someone has overdosed and is experiencing severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing or loss of consciousness, call emergency services right away. Do not attempt to treat the symptoms at home.

What other information should I know?

  • Regular Monitoring: Your healthcare provider will likely schedule regular check-ups and blood tests to monitor your response to Darunavir treatment and assess any potential side effects or complications.
  • Adherence: It’s essential to take Darunavir exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider and to follow their instructions carefully. Skipping doses or taking the medication inconsistently can reduce its effectiveness and increase the risk of developing drug-resistant HIV strains.
  • Drug Interactions: Darunavir can interact with other medications, so inform your healthcare provider about all the medications and supplements you are currently taking to avoid potential interactions.
  • Patient Assistance Programs: If you’re having trouble affording Darunavir or accessing treatment, ask your healthcare provider about patient assistance programs or other resources that may be available to help.

Always consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about storing, disposing, or taking Darunavir safely and effectively. They can provide personalized guidance based on your individual circumstances and medical history.

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