• Raltegravir (tradename Isentress) is an integrase inhibitor.
  • Standard dose: 1 x 400mg tablet, twice daily.
  • Raltegravir can be taken with or without food.
  • Side effects: diarrhoea, nausea, rash and headache. May cause depression (rare). Raltegravir is one of the few HIV meds that does not worsen cholesterol or triglyceride levels. It also has relatively few drug interactions.
  • Other notes: raltegravir can be used in combination with other drugs that are active to work against nuke, NNRTI and PI-resistant HIV. Raltegravir is included as a recommended option for first-line treatment in both UK and US treatment guidelines. However, it is less commonly used in first combinations in the UK because it is more expensive than alternative options.

Further information

The European patient leaflet and detailed Product Information for raltegravir are available in PDF format from this link at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) website.

The Patient Information is a simplified summary: what the drug is, why it is used, results from studies and cautions including side effects.

The Product Information is a detailed technical summary that you can access as a PDF file by clicking the ‘Product Information’ tab. It describes more precisely how the drug works and how it is processed by your body. This includes, for example, reported food interaction studies in terms of calories or fat content. It includes more details of the study results and a full list of side effects and drug interactions.