Where it is used and how does it work?

Tipranavir is used for the treatment of HIV infection. This is used with other HIV medications to help control the infection. This helps to lessen the amount of HIV in your body so your immune system can work better. This also lowers your chance of getting HIV complications and improves your quality of life. 

HIV is a virus that damages your immune system. The immune system helps the body fight off infections. HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids that include:

  • Semen
  • Blood
  • Breast milk
  • Vaginal and rectal fluids 

It might take years before HIV weakens your immune system wherein you could have AIDS without medication. AIDS is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by HIV. Through damaging your immune system, HIV inhibits your body’s capability to fight the organisms that cause the disease. Most people infected by this disease develop a flu-like illness within a month or two. It is after the virus enters the body. This illness is known as primary or acute HIV infection that lasts for a few weeks. Possible signs and symptoms may include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Swollen lymph glands mainly on the neck
  • Sore throat and painful mouth sores 

This medication is not a cure for HIV infection. To lessen your risk of spreading the disease, you may do the following:

  • Always use an effective barrier method like polyurethane condoms or dental dams
  • Continue to take all HIV medications exactly as it is prescribed
  • Do not share personal items like syringes, razors, or toothbrush 

The Food and Drug Administration has already approved this medication. Tipranavir minimizes the ability of the virus to replicate and multiply. This also prevents it from becoming resistant to treatment. 

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by infection with HIV. This virus attacks cells of the immune system. Particularly, it is the white blood cells known as CD4 T-helper lymphocytes. These cells usually function to stimulate other cells in the immune system to fight infection. Over time the body becomes less able to fight the virus or subsequent infections since HIV kills CD4 T-helper cells. When the virus has invaded a CD4 T-cell, it grows. New copies of the virus are released to infect more CD4 cells as well. Certain chemicals produced by HIV called enzymes have a significant role in this growth. One of these enzymes has essential participation in accumulating the new copies of the virus. 

Tipranavir works by stopping the protease enzyme from working. This means that new copies of the virus that are produced are faulty and cannot infect more CD4 cells. There is no cure for HIV, but Tipranavir is one of several medications that lower the amount of virus in the body. This helps the immune system to recover and therefore slow down or stop the progression of the disease from HIV to AIDS.

How to take the medication?

Tipranavir comes as capsules for oral use. This is to be taken by mouth usually twice a day or as directed by your doctor. You may take each dose with or without a meal. Swallow the capsule as a whole. Do not chew or crush it. Tipranavir must be taken at the same time and in the same way each day. Drink plenty of fluids while having this treatment. 

The dosage is based on your condition, age, and response to the treatment. For children, the dosage is also based on weight and body size. It is very important to keep taking this medicine exactly as it is prescribed by your doctor. Take it regularly at the evenly spaced time. Do not skip any doses. If you missed a dose, call your doctor for instructions. Do not double the doses to make up for the missed dose. 

Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed or stop taking it even for a short time, unless it is directed by your doctor. Changing or skipping your dose without the consent of your doctor may cause the total of the virus to increase. It can also make the infection harder to treat or worsen side effects.

Common and Serious Side Effects

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Skin rash especially in children 
  • Tired feeling
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Changes in the shape or location of body fat (waist, breasts, neck, face, legs, or arms)

Call your doctor right away if this happens:

  • Sudden severe headache
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Problems with speech or vision 
  • Right-sided stomach pain 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine 
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Severe skin rash (sunburn, redness, peeling, or blistering)
  • Joint or muscle pain 
  • Tightness in your throat 
  • Increased thirst, hunger, or urination
  • Dry mouth 
  • Signs of a new infection (night sweats, fever, cold sores, diarrhea, weight loss, or swollen glands)
  • Trouble swallowing or speaking 
  • Problems with balance or eye movement 
  • Prickly feeling or weakness 
  • Swelling in your throat or neck 
  • Menstrual changes
  • Impotence 

Things to Remember

  • Tipranavir is not recommended for use in people with moderate or severely decreased liver function and people with rare hereditary problems of fructose intolerance. 
  • This medication is not suitable for children under 12 years of age. Younger children should be treated with an oral solution.
  • Certain medicines should not be used during breastfeeding or pregnancy. However, other medicines may be safely used in breastfeeding or pregnancy providing the benefits to the mother outweighs the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
  • Tipranavir should be used with caution in people with a mild decrease in liver function or liver enzyme abnormalities, history of hepatitis, or blood clotting disorder hemophilia. 
  • People with diabetes, at increased risk of bleeding, or taking medicines that may increase the risk of bleeding, this drug should be used carefully. 
  • Let your doctor know if you ever had an allergic reaction to this drug. Tell as well if you have any allergies. This medicine may have an ingredient that causes an allergic reaction. 
  • Keep this far from the heat and reach of children.