Neurologist

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Drug Information Update – Ongoing safety review of Invirase (saquinavir) and possible association with abnormal heart rhythms

Division of Drug Information (DDI) is CDER’s focal point for public inquiries. We serve the public by providing information on human drug products and drug product regulation by FDA.


 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing clinical trial data about a potentially serious effect on the heart from the use of Invirase (saquinavir) in combination with Norvir (ritonavir). The data suggest that together the two drugs may affect the electrical activity of the heart.

The changes to the electrical activity of the heart possibly associated with these drugs, known as prolonged QT or PR intervals, can be seen on an electrocardiogram (EKG). A prolonged QT intervalcan increase the risk for abnormal heart rhythms, including a serious abnormal rhythm called torsades de pointes. A prolonged PR interval can cause the electrical signal responsible for generating a heart beat to slow or even stop; this is known as heart block and can affect how fast the heart is able to beat.

Invirase and Norvir are antiviral medications given together to treat HIV infection. Norvir is given at a low dose with Invirase in order to increase the level of Invirase in the body. This is a process known as “boosting.”

FDA’s analysis of these data is ongoing. However, healthcare professionals should be aware of this potential risk for changes to the electrical activity of the heart. Invirase and Norvir should not be used in patients already taking medications known to cause QT interval prolongation such as Class IA (such as quinidine,) or Class III (such as amiodarone) antiarrhythmic drugs; or in patients with a history of QT interval prolongation.

For more information, please visit: Invirase

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February 24, 2010 - Posted by | 1

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