Description: Indinavir binds reversibly to HIV-protease which prevents cleavage of the viral precursor polyproteins. As a result, immature viral particles incapable of infecting other cells are formed.

This drug is as= protease inhibitor used to help control HIV infection. It helps your immune system work better by decreasing the amount of HIV in your body so. This lowers your chance of getting HIV complications (such as new infections, cancer) and improves your quality of life. It may be given with ritonavir, another protease inhibitor, to help indinavir work better. Indinavir is not a cure for HIV infection.

How to use indinavir

Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking indinavir and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food), usually 3 times daily or as directed by your doctor. If upset stomach occurs, you may take it with other liquids (such as non-fat milk, apple juice, coffee, tea) or with a light meal (such as dry toast with jelly, corn flakes with non-fat milk and sugar). Avoid taking this medication with a meal high in calories, fat, and protein since this may decrease its effect. If you are directed to take ritonavir with this medication, take them both at the same times.

To help decrease the risk of kidney stones while taking indinavir, drink at least 6 full glasses (8 ounces or 240 milliliters each) of water or other liquids throughout the day.

The dosage is based on your weight, liver function, medical condition, other medications, and response to treatment.

This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.

It is very important to continue taking this medication (and other HIV medications) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed or stop taking it (or other HIV medicines) even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Skipping or changing your dose without approval from your doctor may cause the amount of virus to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat, or worsen side effects.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly if any of these effects persist or worsen:

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • loss of appetite
  • headache

Some people may experience worsening of a previous medical condition (such as an old infection) as their immune systems improve, or develop new conditions because their immune systems have become overactive. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • unexplained weight loss
  • persistent muscle aches/weakness
  • joint pain
  • numbness/tingling of the hands/feet/arms/legs
  • severe tiredness, vision changes
  • severe/persistent headaches
  • signs of infection (such as fever, chills, trouble breathing, cough, non-healing skin sores)
  • signs of an overactive thyroid (such as irritability, nervousness, heat intolerance, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, bulging eyes, unusual growth in the neck/thyroid known as a goiter)
  • signs of a certain nerve problem known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (such as difficulty breathing/swallowing/moving your eyes, drooping face, paralysis, slurred speech)

Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but serious side effects occur:

  • symptoms of a heart attack (such as chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating)
  • easy bruising/bleeding
  • persistent nausea/vomiting
  • stomach/abdominal pain
  • yellowing eyes/skin
  • dark urine
  • decrease in the amount of urine

Indinavir may cause kidney stones.

This medication may infrequently make your blood sugar level rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes.

Changes in body fat may occur while you are taking this medication (such as increased fat in the upper back and stomach areas, decreased fat in the arms and legs).

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


  • Patients with medical history of:
  • Allergic reaction from this medication
    • liver problems
    • diabetes
    • hemophilia
    • kidney problems (including kidney stones)
    • heart problems (coronary artery disease, heart attack)
    • high blood fat levels (cholesterol/triglycerides)
  • Tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before having surgery
  • Children may be more sensitive to the effects on the kidney (such as kidney stones)
  • This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy
  • Because breast milk can transmit HIV, do not breast-feed



Some products that may interact with this drug include:

  • Amiodarone
  • Atazanavir
  • certain benzodiazepines (alprazolam, midazolam, triazolam)
  • conivaptan
  • eletriptan
  • ergot alkaloids (such as dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine)
  • a certain combination HIV medication (elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir)
  • pimozide
  • ranolazine
  • rifampin
  • certain “statin” cholesterol drugs (lovastatin, simvastatin)
  • St John’s wort

Other medications such as rifabutin, venlafaxine and certain anti-seizure drugs (carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital), among others can affect the removal of indinavir from your body.

Indinavir can slow down the removal of other medications. Examples of affected drugs include:

  • Cisapride
  • Lurasidone
  • Regorafenib
  • Trazodone
  • certain calcium channel blockers (such as nifedipine, felodipine, nicardipine)
  • salmeterol
  • certain drugs that weaken the immune system (cyclosporine, tacrolimus)
  • drugs to treat erectile dysfunction-ED or pulmonary hypertension (such as sildenafil, vardenafil)


If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.


Do not share this medication with others.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver tests, viral load, T-cell counts, triglycerides/cholesterol, blood sugar) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Keep all medical and laboratory appointments.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.


Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.


Available Brands:

Crixivan [ Merck Sharp & Dohme ]

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