Antiretroviral Drugs Cheat Sheet

The Goal of Antiretroviral Medications

The goal of antiretroviral medications is to suppress viral replication to slow the decline in the number of CD4+ cells, preserve immune function, reduce the incidence and severity of opportunistic infections, and delay disease progression. The medications affect different stages of the HIV life cycle to prevent reproduction of new virus particles. Combination therapy may be prescribed and includes the use of more than one antiretroviral medication.

 

Before administering an antiretroviral medication, ensure that the medication is safe for pediatric administration. Also check the contraindications for use and the adverse effects.

 

Antiretroviral Drugs

 

Antiretroviral Medications Side Effects

              Drug Name                                 Major Side Effects

Abacavir (Ziagen)Common: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, headache, abdominal pain, tiredness, loss of

Appetite Rare: Hypersensitivity reaction, lactic acidosis

EmtricitabineCommon: Nausea, diarrhoea, headache, raised creatine kinase levels, skin darkening

Rare: Lactic acidosis, liver damage

LamivudineCommon: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, abdominal pain, hair loss, fever, insomnia

(difficulty sleeping), rash, tiredness, joint pain

Rare: Lactic acidosis, liver damage

TenofovirCommon: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, flatulence, dizziness, low blood phosphate levels,

weakness, rash, headache, stomach pains, fatigue, bloating Rare: Kidney problems, bone thinning

ZidovudineCommon: Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headache, dizziness, weakness, muscle pain, loss of

appetite, fever Rare: Blood disorders, lipoatrophy, lactic acidosis

EfavirenzCommon: Rash, dizziness, sleep disturbance, abnormal dreams, impaired concentration,

nausea, vomiting, headache, tiredness, diarrhoea, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts

Rare: Psychosis, severe rash, liver problems

EtravirineCommon: Rash, peripheral neuropathy

Rare: Severe rash (Stevens Johnson syndrome)

NevirapineCommon: Liver toxicity, allergic reaction, rash, nausea, headache, fatigue, stomach pain,

Diarrhea Rare: Severe rash (Stevens Johnson syndrome)

RaltegravirCommon: Headache, insomnia (difficulty sleeping)

Rare: Severe rash, hypersensitivity reaction, extreme thirst

AmprenavirCommon: Raised lipids, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness, tiredness, tingling around the mouth, changes in liver and pancreas function, lipodystrophy, liver toxicity, diabetes Rare: Severe rash, changes in heart rhythm
AtazanavirCommon: Nausea, diarrhoea, rash, stomach ache, headache, insomnia (difficulty sleeping),

vomiting, hyperbilirubinaemia, lipodystrophy, liver toxicity, diabetes Rare: Kidney stones, kidney problems, abnormal liver function, changes in heart rhythm

DarunavirCommon: Diarrhoea, nausea, rash, stomach pain, vomiting, headache, lipodystrophy, liver toxicity, diabetes, fever Rare: Abnormal liver function, changes in heart rhythm
FosamprenavirCommon: Raised lipids, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness, tiredness, tingling around the mouth, changes in liver and pancreas function, lipodystrophy, liver toxicity, diabetes

Rare: Severe rash, changes in heart rhythm

Lopinavir/ritonavirCommon: Lipodystrophy, raised liver enzymes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain,

weakness, heartburn, headache, raised lipids, liver toxicity, diabetes Rare: Changes in heart rhythm

RitonavirCommon: Lipodystrophy, raised liver enzymes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain,

weakness, heartburn, headache, raised lipids, liver toxicity, diabetes Rare: Changes in heart rhythm

 

 

 

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