What You Need To Know

Learn the basics about HIV

You should read everything there is to know about HIV and the options available to treat the virus. Make sure to ask your healthcare team for more information.

What is HIV?

HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It attacks your body's immune system. The virus destroys CD4 cells, which help your body fight diseases. HIV can severely damage your immune system and lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

How is HIV treated?

HIV treatment may reduce the amount of HIV in your blood (called "viral load"). Treatment may also help to increase the number of CD4 cells in your blood which help fight off other infections.

An HIV drug is more likely to be effective when it works at the same time with other HIV drugs. Your treatment can only work if you take your medicines when and how your healthcare team tells you.

Key lab results

A sample of blood is used to test CD4 count and viral load. Ask your healthcare team to explain your test results.

  • Viral Load


    This is the amount of HIV in your blood. If your viral load is low enough it is called "undetectable." An undetectable viral load is your goal.
  • CD4 Count


    This is the amount of CD4 cells (immune system cells). HIV lowers your CD4 cell count, which makes it easier for you to get sick. A higher CD4 count is better.

Click here to get tools and resources for managing HIV.

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Remember!

Talk to your healthcare team about your hopes for the future and any concerns about therapy.

ISENTRESS is an HIV medicine that, when used with other
HIV medicines, may reduce the amount of HIV in your blood and
help increase the number of CD4 (T) cells.


ISENTRESS is a prescription HIV-1 medicine used with other antiretroviral medicines to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection in people 4 weeks of age and older. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

It is not known if ISENTRESS is safe and effective in babies under 4 weeks of age.

The use of other medicines active against HIV-1 in combination with ISENTRESS may increase your ability to fight HIV.

ISENTRESS does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS.

You must stay on continuous HIV therapy to control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses.

IMPORTANT RISK
INFORMATION:

Some people who take ISENTRESS develop serious skin reactions and allergic reactions that can be severe, and may be life-threatening or lead to death. (cont'd below)

Click here for more important risk information about ISENTRESS

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IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION

If you develop a rash with any of the following symptoms, stop using ISENTRESS and call your doctor right away: fever, generally ill feeling, extreme tiredness, muscle or joint aches, blisters or sores in mouth, blisters or peeling of skin, redness or swelling of the eyes, swelling of the mouth or face, problems breathing.

Sometimes allergic reactions can affect body organs, such as your liver. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms of liver problems: yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, dark or tea-colored urine, pale-colored stools (bowel movements), nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, pain, aching or tenderness on the right side of your stomach area.

Changes in your immune system (Immune Reconstitution Syndrome) can happen when you start taking HIV-1 medicines. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden in your body for a long time. Tell your doctor right away if you start having new symptoms after starting your HIV-1 medicine.

People taking ISENTRESS may still develop infections or other conditions associated with HIV infections.

The most common side effects of ISENTRESS include: trouble sleeping, headache, dizziness, nausea, and tiredness. Less common side effects include: depression, hepatitis, genital herpes, herpes zoster including shingles, kidney failure, kidney stones, indigestion or stomach area pain, vomiting, suicidal thoughts and actions, and weakness.

Tell your doctor before you take ISENTRESS if you have a history of a muscle disorder called rhabdomyolysis or myopathy or increased levels of creatine kinase in your blood.

Tell your doctor right away if you get unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness while taking ISENTRESS. These may be signs of a rare serious muscle problem that can lead to kidney problems.

These are not all the possible side effects of ISENTRESS. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacists. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you have any allergies, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. ISENTRESS is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Do not breastfeed if you take ISENTRESS. Women with HIV should not breastfeed because their babies could be infected with HIV through their breast milk.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including, prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medicines interact with ISENTRESS. Do not start taking a new medicine without telling your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can tell you if it is safe to take ISENTRESS with those other medicines.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please read the accompanying Patient Information and Instructions for Use for ISENTRESS and discuss them with your doctor. The physician Prescribing Information also is available.

Having trouble paying for your Merck medicine? Merck may be able to help. www.merckhelps.com

Brands mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.


INFC-1066246-0010 11/16