It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
You should not take this medicine if you or your child are also taking medicine for heart rhythm problems (e.g., amiodarone, bepridil, dofetilide, flecainide, lidocaine, propafenone, quinidine, Cordarone®, Pacerone®, Quinora®, Rhythmol®, Tambocor®, Tikosyn®, or Vascor®), ergotamine medicines (e.g., dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine, Cafergot®, D.H.E. 45®, Embolex®, Ergomar®, Ergostate®, Ergotrate®, Methergine®, Migergot®, Migranal®, Wigraine®, or Wigrettes®), medicine to lower cholesterol (e.g., lovastatin, simvastatin, Advicor®, Altoprev®, Mevacor®, Simcor®, Vytorin®, or Zocor®), alfuzosin (Uroxatral®), astemizole (Hismanal®), cisapride (Propulsid®), fluticasone (Flonase®), oral midazolam (Versed®), pimozide (Orap®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifamate®, Rifater®, Rimactane®), sildenafil (Revatio®), terfenadine (Seldane®), tipranavir (Aptivus®), trazodone (Desyrel®, Oleptro®), or triazolam (Halcion®). Taking any of these together with this medicine may increase the chance for serious side effects.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal (e.g., St. John's wort, garlic capsules) or vitamin supplements.
This medicine may decrease the effects of some oral contraceptives (birth control pills). To keep from getting pregnant, use an additional form of birth control together with your pills, such as condoms, diaphragms, or contraceptive foams or jellies.
This medicine can cause changes in heart rhythms, such as a condition called PR or QT interval prolongation. It may change the way your heart beats and cause fainting or serious side effects in some patients. Contact your doctor right away if you or your child have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeats.
This medicine may increase blood sugar levels. Check with your doctor if you or your child notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests.
Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach; pale stools; dark urine; loss of appetite; nausea; unusual tiredness or weakness; or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
Saquinavir does not decrease the risk of transmitting the HIV infection to others through sexual contact or by contamination through blood. HIV may be acquired from or spread to others through infected body fluids, including blood, vaginal fluid, or semen. If you are infected, it is best to avoid any sexual activity involving an exchange of body fluids with other people. If you do have sex, always wear (or have your partner wear) a condom (“rubber”). Only use condoms made of latex, and use them every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. The use of a spermicide (such as nonoxynol-9) may also help prevent the spread of HIV if it is not irritating to the vagina, rectum, or mouth. Spermicides have been shown to kill HIV in lab tests. Do not use oil-based jelly, cold cream, baby oil, or shortening as a lubricant—these products can cause the condom to break. Lubricants without oil, such as K-Y Jelly, are recommended. Women may wish to carry their own condoms. Birth control pills and diaphragms will help protect against pregnancy, but they will not prevent someone from giving or getting the AIDS virus. If you inject drugs, get help to stop. Do not share needles or equipment with anyone. In some cities, more than half of the drug users are infected, and sharing even 1 needle or syringe can spread the virus. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
When you start taking HIV medicines, your immune system may get stronger. If you or your child have certain infections, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis, you may notice new symptoms when your body tries to fight them. If this occurs, be sure to tell your doctor right away.
This medicine may cause you to have excess body fat. Tell your doctor if you or your child notice changes in your body shape, such as an increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck, or around the chest and stomach area; or a loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face.