Kaletra (Lopinavir/Ritonavir): Uses, Dosage and Side Effects
What is Kaletra (Lopinavir/Ritonavir)?
Essentially described as a mixture of two major (ARVs) antiretroviral drugs, Kaletra is another form of medicine used in providing medical aid to individuals suffering from the effects of the human immunodeficiency virus. Just like other ARVs, Kaletra also functions by diminishing the huge amount of virus contained in the body. It works closely with the body’s immune system in combating the said infection and prevents the emergence of other health concerns.
Uses of Kaletra
Although not considered a cure for the said illness, Kaletra has many uses for someone experiencing the massive effects of the infection. These uses are beneficial in prolonging the lifespan of an HIV-positive individual and live a quality life just like healthy people do. Some of these uses include:
- It ensures that the virus population within the body is lessened and becomes inactive.
- It assists the immune system in working more efficiently.
- It lessens someone’s chance of acquiring more health problems.
- It reduces HIV transmission to others who are not infected.
- It prevents viral progression to a more advanced disease – AIDS.
Once consumed under the medical professional’s prescription, all these mentioned advantages or benefits can be easily achieved. With the help of regular visitation to the medical professional, further guidance and supervision will be given to the patient.
The dosage of this medicine will depend on some factors that the medical professional needs to examine and assess. These factors may include:
- The present age and weight of the patient/s
- Medical history or past health concerns
- Other medicines utilized or consumed in the present
As mentioned, Kaletra is a mixture of 2 major ARVs. These ARVs are the following:
- 100 mg of Lopinavir
- 25 mg of Ritonavir
Developed into one single dose or tablet, it becomes easier for an HIV-positive individual to consume his/her daily dose of Kaletra.
Dosage for Adults:
- The dosage prescribed for adults will depend on the frequency or regimen on a daily basis. However, the recommended dosage will likely be 800 mg of Kaletra to be consumed per day. It involves the consumption of 4 tablets containing 200 mg of the said medicine.
- The oral solution of Kaletra is also available for those who wish to consume this form. The dosage will most likely be 800 mg or 10 mL of the said medicine.
- In some cases, Kaletra will need to be consumed with other ARVs, depending on the severity of the condition. Trust your medical professional to provide you with the medicine that you truly need.
Dosage for Children:
- Children who are under 18 years old may not be recommended to consume both the tablet and oral solution of the said medicine, noted that the dosing is only once per day.
- Their dosage will depend on their weight since it plays a vital role in classifying the amount of dosage they need to consume.
Keep in mind that the dosage needs to be followed strictly. Since your health is at risk here, the prescription must be observed to recover and achieve stable well-being.
How to take it?
Just like other medicines, Kaletra can also be consumed with or without food. However, for the liquid or oral solution, it must be consumed with food to ensure that the patient does not encounter a mild stomach ache. It is also necessary to avoid breaking or chewing the tablet. The patient must ingest or swallow this medicine whole to get all the benefits and its properties into action. Drink water after each consumption to assist the system while the medicine is ingested. Do not skip or miss a dose, as it can affect the treatment process. It is smart to set the alarm to get you notified of the time to take this medicine.
Kaletra Side Effects
Alongside other antiretroviral drugs, Kaletra also has a fair share of side effects or adverse reactions. These reactions are considered mild or severe, depending on the intensity of these effects on the body. Here, you will know which reactions are manageable and which ones need immediate medical attention. Consider the following:
Most Common Side Effects:
These are the kind of adverse reactions that do not require urgent medical aid from the healthcare professional. These reactions are manageable at home.
- Mild nausea
- Mild headache
- Mild diarrhea
- Sleeping problem
- Lack of strength
- High levels of cholesterol
Severe Side Effects:
While there are common side effects, Kaletra can also give individuals the most severe side effects. These are the kind of reactions that need urgent medical care. Sometimes, people who experience these are hospitalized.
- Severe headache
- Recurrent chest pain
- Recurrent diarrhea
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty speaking
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
- Irregular heartbeat
- Extreme tiredness
- Unexplained weakness
- Loss of appetite