July 28, 2016
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"Just one dose of zoledronic acid given at the start of antiretroviral therapy (ART) may prevent ART-associated bone loss during the first 48 weeks of therapy, according to a study published online May 18 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.





Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Severe Skin And Hypersensitivity Reactions

Severe, potentially life-threatening, and fatal skin reactions have been reported. These include cases of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Hypersensitivity reactions have also been reported and were characterized by rash, constitutional findings, and sometimes, organ dysfunction, including hepatic failure. Discontinue ISENTRESS and other suspect agents immediately if signs or symptoms of severe skin reactions or hypersensitivity reactions develop (including, but not limited to, severe rash or rash accompanied by fever, general malaise, fatigue, muscle or joint aches, blisters, oral lesions, conjunctivitis, facial edema, hepatitis, eosinophilia, angioedema). Clinical status including liver aminotransferases should be monitored and appropriate therapy initiated. Delay in stopping ISENTRESS treatment or other suspect agents after the onset of severe rash may result in a life-threatening reaction.

Immune Reconstitution Syndrome

Immune reconstitution syndrome has been reported in patients treated with combination antiretroviral therapy, including ISENTRESS. During the initial phase of combination antiretroviral treatment, patients whose immune systems respond may develop an inflammatory response to indolent or residual opportunistic infections (such as Mycobacterium avium infection, cytomegalovirus, Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia, tuberculosis), which may necessitate further evaluation and treatment.

Autoimmune disorders (such as Graves' disease, polymyositis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome) have also been reported to occur in the setting of immune reconstitution; however, the time to onset is more variable, and can occur many months after initiation of treatment.


ISENTRESS Chewable Tablets contain phenylalanine, a component of aspartame. Each 25 mg ISENTRESS Chewable Tablet contains approximately 0.05 mg phenylalanine. Each 100 mg ISENTRESS Chewable Tablet contains approximately 0.10 mg phenylalanine. Phenylalanine can be harmful to patients with phenylketonuria.

Patient Counseling Information

Advise patients to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION and Instructions for Use).

General Information

Instruct patients to reread patient labeling each time the prescription is renewed.

Patients should remain under the care of a physician when using ISENTRESS. Instruct patients to inform their physician or pharmacist if they develop any unusual symptom, or if any known symptom persists or worsens.

ISENTRESS is not a cure for HIV-1 infection and patients may continue to experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection such as opportunistic infections. Tell patients that sustained decreases in plasma HIV RNA have been associated with a reduced risk of progression to AIDS and death. Patients should remain on continuous HIV therapy to control HIV infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses.

Advise patients to avoid doing things that can spread HIV-1 infection to others.

  • Do not share needles or other injection equipment.
  • Do not share personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them, like toothbrushes and razor blades.
  • Do not have any kind of sex without protection. Always practice safe sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood.
  • Do not breastfeed. Mothers with HIV-1 should not breastfeed because HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in the breast milk. Also, it is unknown if ISENTRESS can be passed to the baby through breast milk and whether it could harm the baby.
General Dosing Instructions

Instruct patients that if they miss a dose of ISENTRESS, they should take it as soon as they remember. If they do not remember until it is time for the next dose, instruct them to skip the missed dose and go back to the regular schedule. Instruct patients not to double their next dose or take more than the prescribed dose.

Film-Coated Tablets and Chewable Tablets

Inform patients that the chewable tablet forms can be chewed or swallowed whole, but the film-coated tablets must be swallowed whole.

For Oral Suspension

Instruct parents and/or caregivers to read the Instructions for Use before preparing and administering ISENTRESS for oral suspension to pediatric patients. Instruct parents and/or caregivers that ISENTRESS for oral suspension should be administered within 30 minutes of mixing.

Severe and Potentially Life-threatening Rash

Inform patients that severe and potentially life-threatening rash has been reported. Advise patients to immediately contact their healthcare provider if they develop rash. Instruct patients to immediately stop taking ISENTRESS and other suspect agents, and seek medical attention if they develop a rash associated with any of the following symptoms as it may be a sign of a more serious reaction such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis or severe hypersensitivity: fever, generally ill feeling, extreme tiredness, muscle or joint aches, blisters, oral lesions, eye inflammation, facial swelling, swelling of the eyes, lips, mouth, breathing difficulty, and/or signs and symptoms of liver problems (e.g., yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark or tea colored urine, pale colored stools/bowel movements, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain, aching or sensitivity on the right side below the ribs). Inform patients that if severe rash occurs, their physician will closely monitor them, order laboratory tests and initiate appropriate therapy.


Before patients begin ISENTRESS, ask them if they have a history of rhabdomyolysis, myopathy or increased creatine kinase or if they are taking medications known to cause these conditions such as statins, fenofibrate, gemfibrozil or zidovudine.

Instruct patients to immediately report to their healthcare provider any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness while taking ISENTRESS.


Alert patients with phenylketonuria that ISENTRESS Chewable Tablets contain phenylalanine [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Drug Interactions

Instruct patients to avoid taking aluminum and/or magnesium containing antacids during treatment with ISENTRESS [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Carcinogenicity studies of raltegravir in mice did not show any carcinogenic potential. At the highest dose levels, 400 mg/kg/day in females and 250 mg/kg/day in males, systemic exposure was 1.8-fold (females) or 1.2-fold (males) greater than the AUC (54 μM•hr) at the 400-mg twice daily human dose. Treatment-related squamous cell carcinoma of nose/nasopharynx was observed in female rats dosed with 600 mg/kg/day raltegravir for 104 weeks. These tumors were possibly the result of local irritation and inflammation due to local deposition and/or aspiration of drug in the mucosa of the nose/nasopharynx during dosing. No tumors of the nose/nasopharynx were observed in rats dosed with 150 mg/kg/day (males) and 50 mg/kg/day (females) and the systemic exposure in rats was 1.7-fold (males) to 1.4-fold (females) greater than the AUC (54 μM•hr) at the 400-mg twice daily human dose.

No evidence of mutagenicity or genotoxicity was observed in in vitro microbial mutagenesis (Ames) tests, in vitro alkaline elution assays for DNA breakage, and in vitro and in vivo chromosomal aberration studies.

No effect on fertility was seen in male and female rats at doses up to 600 mg/kg/day which resulted in a 3-fold exposure above the exposure at the recommended human dose.

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category C

ISENTRESS should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. In addition, there have been no pharmacokinetic studies conducted in pregnant patients.

Developmental toxicity studies were performed in rabbits (at oral doses up to 1000 mg/kg/day) and rats (at oral doses up to 600 mg/kg/day). The reproductive toxicity study in rats was performed with pre-, peri-, and postnatal evaluation. The highest doses in these studies produced systemic exposures in these species approximately 3-to 4-fold the exposure at the recommended human dose. In both rabbits and rats, no treatment-related effects on embryonic/fetal survival or fetal weights were observed. In addition, no treatment-related external, visceral, or skeletal changes were observed in rabbits. However, treatment-related increases over controls in the incidence of supernumerary ribs were seen in rats at 600 mg/kg/day (exposures 3-fold the exposure at the recommended human dose).

Placenta transfer of drug was demonstrated in both rats and rabbits. At a maternal dose of 600 mg/kg/day in rats, mean drug concentrations in fetal plasma were approximately 1.5-to 2.5-fold greater than in maternal plasma at 1 hour and 24 hours postdose, respectively. Mean drug concentrations in fetal plasma were approximately 2% of the mean maternal concentration at both 1 and 24 hours postdose at a maternal dose of 1000 mg/kg/day in rabbits.

Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry

To monitor maternal-fetal outcomes of pregnant patients exposed to ISENTRESS, an Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry has been established. Physicians are encouraged to register patients by calling 1800-258-4263.

Nursing Mothers

Breastfeeding is not recommended while taking ISENTRESS. In addition, it is recommended that HIV-1-infected mothers not breastfeed their infants to avoid risking postnatal transmission of HIV-1.

It is not known whether raltegravir is secreted in human milk. However, raltegravir is secreted in the milk of lactating rats. Mean drug concentrations in milk were approximately 3-fold greater than those in maternal plasma at a maternal dose of 600 mg/kg/day in rats. There were no effects in rat offspring attributable to exposure of ISENTRESS through the milk.

Pediatric Use

The safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic profile, and efficacy of ISENTRESS were evaluated in HIV-1 infected infants, children and adolescents 4 weeks to 18 years of age in an open-label, multicenter clinical trial, IMPAACT P1066 [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and Clinical Studies]. The safety profile was comparable to that observed in adults [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION for dosing recommendations for children 4 weeks of age and older. The safety and dosing information for ISENTRESS have not been established in infants less than 4 weeks of age.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of ISENTRESS did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger subjects. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

Use In Patients With Hepatic Impairment

No clinically important pharmacokinetic differences between subjects with moderate hepatic impairment and healthy subjects were observed. No dosage adjustment is necessary for patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment. The effect of severe hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of raltegravir has not been studied [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Use In Patients With Renal Impairment

No clinically important pharmacokinetic differences between subjects with severe renal impairment and healthy subjects were observed. No dosage adjustment is necessary [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/5/2015


Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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