Frequently Asked Questions

 
What is ISENTRESS?  
ISENTRESS is a prescription HIV medicine used with other antiretroviral medicines to treat human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection in adults, and in children weighing at least 4.4 pounds (2 kg). HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
What is ISENTRESS HD?
ISENTRESS HD is a prescription HIV medicine used with other antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV-1 infection in adults, and in children weighing at least 88 pounds (40 kg). HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
How does ISENTRESS work?
ISENTRESS is a type of HIV-1 medicine known as an integrase inhibitor. Integrase inhibitors block the enzyme integrase, which is one of the enzymes that HIV-1 needs to make copies of itself. ISENTRESS, when used with other HIV-1 medicines, may reduce the amount of HIV-1 in your blood.
Who should not take ISENTRESS?

ISENTRESS should not be used in children who weigh less than 4.4 pounds (2 kg).

Do not breastfeed if you take ISENTRESS.

Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions. This includes if you have any allergies, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

What should I tell my doctor before taking ISENTRESS?

Tell your doctor if you:

  • Have liver problems or phenylketonuria (PKU). ISENTRESS chewable tablets contain phenylalanine as part of the artificial sweetener aspartame. The artificial sweetener may be harmful to people with PKU
  • Have a history of a muscle disorder called rhabdomyolysis or myopathy or increased levels of creatine kinase in your blood
  • Receive kidney dialysis treatment
  • Have other medical conditions
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. ISENTRESS is not recommended for use during pregnancy

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Can I take ISENTRESS with other medicines?

Do not start taking a new medicine without telling your doctor.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medicines interact with ISENTRESS. Keep a list of your medicines to show your doctor and pharmacist.

Can I take ISENTRESS if I’m pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant?
Before your take ISENTRESS, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if ISENTRESS can harm your unborn baby.
How should I take ISENTRESS?

Take ISENTRESS exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Remember:

  • Take it by mouth. Film-coated tablets must be swallowed whole
  • Take ISENTRESS with or without food
  • Do not change your dose of ISENTRESS or stop your treatment without talking with your doctor first
  • Take ISENTRESS on a regular dosing schedule as instructed by your doctor. Do not miss doses
  • Do not switch between the film-coated tablet, the chewable tablet, and/or the oral suspension without talking with your doctor first
How do I store ISENTRESS?
Store it at room temperature (68°F to 77°F). ISENTRESS should not be refrigerated.
What else should I know?

Get a refill of ISENTRESS from your doctor or pharmacy before you run out. The virus in your blood may increase and the virus may become harder to treat.

Stay under the care of your doctor during treatment.

If you take too much ISENTRESS, call your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.

Ask your doctor if ISENTRESS is right for you.

  

Prepare for your next appointment, and download our doctor discussion guide to help get the conversation started.

Download Now


WHAT ARE ISENTRESS AND ISENTRESS HD?

ISENTRESS is a prescription HIV medicine used with other antiretroviral medicines to treat human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection in adults, and in children weighing at least 4.4 pounds (2 kg).

ISENTRESS HD is a prescription HIV medicine used with other antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV-1 infection in adults, and in children weighing at least 88 pounds (40 kg). HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

ISENTRESS should not be used in children weighing less than 4.4 pounds (2 kg).

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Some people who take ISENTRESS or ISENTRESS HD develop severe skin reactions and allergic reactions that can be serious, and may be life-threatening or lead to death. If you develop a rash, call your doctor right away. If you develop a rash with any of the following symptoms, stop using ISENTRESS or ISENTRESS HD and call your doctor or get medical help 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, lips, 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 or ISENTRESS HD may still develop infections or other conditions associated with HIV-1 infections.

The most common side effects of ISENTRESS or ISENTRESS HD 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 or ISENTRESS HD 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 or ISENTRESS HD. 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 or ISENTRESS HD. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. 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. Do not breastfeed if you take ISENTRESS or ISENTRESS HD. 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 or ISENTRESS HD. Do not start taking a new medicine without telling your doctor. Your doctor can tell you if it is safe to take ISENTRESS or ISENTRESS HD 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 ISENTRESS HD 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.


 
Please Scroll for Full Indication