Lopinavir is used to treat HIV infection.


What is Lopinavir?

Lopinavir is a protease inhibitor. It works by stopping the infectious viral particles (HIV virus) from multiplying.


How should Lopinavir be taken?

Lopinavir is administered orally in combination with other HIV protease inhibitors (in particular ritonavir). In fact, lopinavir is not sufficiently effective when it is taken alone. Its blood levels increase significantly when it is taken in combination with ritonavir.


Side effects associated with Lopinavir

The combined intake of lopinavir and ritonavir can increase the responsiveness of the immune system, alter the accumulation of adipose tissue and increase sugar in the blood. It can also trigger toxic epidermal necrolysis or severe liver problems. In the case of children, lopinavir/ritonavir can cause weight changes. It is also possible that the treatment reduces the effectiveness of birth control methods and increases bleeding in patients with hemophilia.


Among the other possible side effects of lopinavir / ritonavir include the following:


  • Back ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Nausea
  • Stomach ache
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness


It is important to contact a doctor immediately if you experience:


  • Rash
  • Urticaria
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in the chest or chest pain
  • Swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue
  • Dizziness or feeling faint or lightheaded
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Fever, chills or sore throat
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe or persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Symptoms of liver problems
  • Symptoms of pancreatitis
  • Bruising or bleeding


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Lopinavir

The intake of the combination lopinavir / ritonavir may be contraindicated in case of congenital long QT syndrome or low levels of potassium in the blood. It may also be prohibited if you are taking alfuzosin, avanafil, boceprevir, cisapride, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, lovastatin, methylergonovine, midazolam, pimozide, rifampin, rivaroxaban, salmeterol, simvastatin, telaprevir, triazolam, St. John's wort, sildenafil (when taken against pulmonary hypertension), colchicine (in the presence of kidney or liver problems) or any medication that could increase the risk of QT prolongation.


Before starting treatment with lopinavir, it is important to tell your doctor if:

  • You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients or to any other drugs (especially ritonavir), food or various substances
  • You are taking any other medications, herbal remedies or supplements. Mentioning in particular:  other HIV protease inhibitors, drugs that may increase the risk of QT prolongation or hormonal contraceptives
  • You are suffering (or have suffered) from high cholesterol or triglycerides, haemophilia or other bleeding disorders, kidney or liver problems, pancreatic and cardiovascular disorders, irregular heartbeat, diabetes, hyperglycemia, or low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood
  • You have a family history of irregular heartbeat
  • You are pregnant breast-feeding


It is important to inform physicians, surgeons or dentists of any ongoing treatment with lopinavir.