• Saquinavir (tradename Invirase) is a protease inhibitor that needs to be boosted with a separate dose of ritonavir
  • Standard adult dose: 2 x 500 mg capsules, twice-daily plus a separate dose of 1 x 100 mg capsule of ritonavir.
  • Saquinavir needs to be taken with a meal or after a meal. Drug levels are reduced by 70% if taken without food.
  • Side effects: changes in lipids (blood fat) which should be routinely monitored, lipodystrophy (fat accumulation) and diarrhoea.
  • Other comments: saquinavir is now used less frequently in the UK because of the higher pill count and twice-daily dosing.

Further information

Information on lipodystrophy from the i-Base side effects guide.

The European patient leaflet and detailed Product Information for saquinavir are available from this link on 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.