PDR Health


What is Kaletra?

Kaletra is an antiretroviral medication used to treat HIV/AIDS. It is a combination of two drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir, which work together to block the action of HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS. Kaletra is used in combination with other antiretroviral medications to suppress the replication of HIV-1 and slow the progression of AIDS.

Kaletra belongs to a class of drugs known as protease inhibitors. Protease is an enzyme that HIV-1 uses to replicate itself. By inhibiting this enzyme, Kaletra prevents the replication of HIV-1.

Kaletra was originally developed by Abbott Laboratories and is now manufactured by AbbVie. It is approved for use in the United States and many other countries.

Health Benefits

Kaletra has been shown to be effective in suppressing the replication of HIV-1 and slowing the progression of AIDS. In clinical trials, Kaletra has been shown to reduce the viral load (the amount of HIV-1 in the blood) by more than 99%.

Kaletra has also been shown to improve the immune system and increase the CD4+ cell count (a type of white blood cell that is important for fighting infection). In one study, patients who took Kaletra had a significant increase in their CD4+ cell count compared to those who did not take the medication.

What are the possible side effects of Kaletra?

Kaletra can cause serious side effects, including:

* Liver problems. Kaletra can cause liver failure, which may be fatal. People with hepatitis B or C are at increased risk for liver problems from Kaletra. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease.

* Pancreatitis. Kaletra can cause pancreatitis, which may be fatal. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had pancreatitis.

* Heart problems. Kaletra can cause heart rhythm problems, which may be fatal. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart disease.

* Kidney problems. Kaletra can cause kidney failure, which may be fatal. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease.

* Intestinal problems. Kaletra can cause intestinal blockage, which may be fatal. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had intestinal problems.

Less serious side effects of Kaletra may include:

* Nausea

* Vomiting

* Diarrhea

* Stomach pain or cramps

* Headache

Kaletra can also cause a change in the way fat is distributed in your body, which can lead to problems such as enlarged breasts (in men), increased fat in the upper back and stomach, and loss of fat from the face, arms, and legs.

Most side effects of Kaletra are mild and go away on their own. Talk to your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.


Kaletra is available in tablet and liquid form. The usual starting dose is two tablets (200 mg/100 mg) twice daily, or four teaspoonfuls (40 mL) of the liquid twice daily. Your doctor will determine the best dose for you based on your weight, viral load, and other factors.

If you miss a dose of Kaletra, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at one time.

Kaletra can be taken with or without food. It is important to take Kaletra exactly as prescribed by your doctor.


Kaletra can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. Tell your doctor about all the drugs, supplements, and herbs you take, even if they seem unrelated to Kaletra.

Some products that may interact with Kaletra include:

* Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)

* St. John’s wort

* Tipranavir (Aptivus)

This is not a complete list of potential drug interactions. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist about all the medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Mechanism of Action

Kaletra is a combination of two drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir. Lopinavir is an HIV protease inhibitor. It works by blocking the protease enzyme, which is needed for the HIV virus to mature and reproduce. Ritonavir is another HIV protease inhibitor. It works by boosting the levels of lopinavir in the body.

Kaletra is also available as a generic drug. The FDA has assigned the generic Kaletra tablets an “AB” rating, which means they are equivalent to the brand-name version. The generic liquid form of Kaletra has not yet been rated.


Kaletra is rapidly absorbed and reaches peak concentrations in the blood within 1-2 hours. It is 98% bound to plasma proteins. The half-life of Kaletra is 5-9 hours.

Please note that this content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our website.