What is Kaletra?
Kaletra is a medication that consists of ritonavir and lopinavir, both of them being active ingredients which have the purpose to increase the amount of lopinavir in the blood. This medication is frequently used in the treatment of HIV and AIDS, and it has proven to be very efficient in blocking the multiplication of HIV virus, thus keeping the disease under control and preventing its further development.
Side effects of Kaletra
When it comes to the side effects of Kaletra, they certainly are possible, but the problem is in the fact that not all of them can be identified as the side effects of this medication particularly, because since it is used for the treatment of HIV virus, it is almost always used along with some other medications. This is also a reason why the results of the studies on its side effects are more or less common for the whole group of medications with which it is usually combined. However, the most commonly reported side effects include nausea, diarrhea, pain in the abdomen, headaches, and irregular menstruation. In statistics, it means that more than 5 % and less than 30 % of the patients complained about these problems. Less than 2 % of the people who participated in these studies reported symptoms such as insomnia, appetite and weight loss, fever, chills, pain in the muscles, and high blood pressure. Both, females and males, complained about decreased sex drive, while the level of testosterone lowered in men only.
As for the unwanted effects of Kaletra, those which should be reported as soon as possible are signs of allergy, arrhythmia, pancreatitis, and liver damage, as well as the increased level of blood sugar, cholesterol or triglycerides. Depression is also a serious side effect that must not be ignored.
How to reduce the risks of side effects?
When having in mind how difficult it is to identify the side effects of this medication, it becomes even more difficult to predict in which cases they are more likely to appear. However, for people with any kind of heart disease, diabetes, problems with liver and allergies, as well as for those who have high cholesterol and triglycerides, hemophilia or hypokalemia, the use of this medication is not safe. When it comes to pregnant women, they should discuss with their doctor whether it is safe for them to use Kaletra, or not. On the other side, the list of the medications with which Kaletra should not be combined due to the possible contraindications is very long, and the doctor should inform the patient about it in detail.