Indinavir (By mouth)


Indinavir (in-DIN-a-vir)

Treats human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Indinavir does not cure HIV or AIDS, but it may slow the progress of the disease.

Brand Name(s)


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine


  • Take your medicine as directed. Indinavir is usually taken every 8 hours. Do not change the dose or stop using this medicine without asking your doctor first.
  • Indinavir is used with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Take all other medicines your doctor has prescribed as part of your combination treatment.
  • It is best to take the medicine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Drink water, nonfat milk, juice, coffee, or tea when you take the medicine. If you need to take the medicine with food, eat a small, low-fat, low-protein meal.
  • Drink extra fluids so you will urinate more often and help prevent kidney problems. Drink at least 48 ounces of liquid each day.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine and your next dose is less than 2 hours away, use it as soon as you can. If your next regular dose is more than 2 hours away, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Tell your doctor if you also use atazanavir (Reyataz®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifamate®, Rifater®, Rimactane®), salmeterol (Advair®, Serevent®), or St John's wort.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you use bosentan (Tracleer®), clarithromycin (Biaxin®), colchicine (Colcrys®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), fluticasone (Advair®, Flonase®), itraconazole (Sporanox®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), midazolam injection (Versed®), rifabutin (Mycobutin®), sildenafil (Viagra®), sirolimus (Rapamune®), tacrolimus (Prograf®), tadalafil (Adcirca®, Cialis®), vardenafil (Levitra®), or medicine to lower cholesterol (such as atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, Crestor®, or Lipitor®).
  • Tell your doctor if you also use other medicines to treat HIV/AIDS (such as delavirdine, didanosine, efavirenz, nelfinavir, nevirapine, ritonavir, saquinavir, Invirase®, Norvir®, Rescriptor®, Sustiva®, or Videx®), medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as bepridil, lidocaine, quinidine, Cardioquin®, Quinaglute®, or Vascor®), medicine to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, Dilantin®, Luminal®, or Tegretol®), a steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone, Decadron®, or Hexadrol®), certain blood pressure medicines (such as amlodipine, felodipine, nicardipine, nifedipine, Cardene®, Norvasc®, Plendil®, or Procardia®), or medicines to treat depression (such as trazodone, venlafaxine, Desyrel®, or Effexor®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, hemolytic anemia, hyperbilirubinemia, hemophilia, or autoimmune disorders (such as Graves disease, polymyositis, or a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome).
  • Do not breastfeed. You can spread HIV or AIDS to your baby through your breast milk.
  • This medicine will not keep you from giving HIV to others. Always practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Do not share needles or other items that may have blood or body fluids on them.
  • This medicine may increase blood sugar levels. Tell your doctor if you have increased hunger or thirst, changes in how much you urinate, or unusual weight loss. Check with your doctor if you notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests.
  • This medicine may increase your risk of kidney stones. Check with your doctor right away if you have blood in your urine, nausea and vomiting, pain in the groin or genitals, or sharp back pain just below the ribs.
  • Your immune system may get stronger when you start taking HIV medicines. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your health. Sometimes the immune system will start to fight infections that were hidden in your body, such as pneumonia, herpes, or tuberculosis.
  • This medicine may cause you to have changes in body fat. Tell your doctor if you notice an increased amount of fat in your upper back and neck or around the chest and stomach area. You might also lose fat from the legs, arms, and face.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate, difficult or painful urination
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Increased thirst or hunger, or unusual weight loss
  • Sharp pain in your side, back, or stomach
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
  • Yellow skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache
  • Mild skin rash or itching
  • Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain
  • Weight gain around your neck, upper back, breast, or waist

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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