Isentress (Raltegravir) + Alcohol

There is no known interaction between Isentress and alcohol, but this does not mean that no side effects may be experienced. It is best to avoid regular or excessive consumption of alcohol while using this drug. Consult a doctor or healthcare provider to get a full list of possible interactions.

Brief Information About Isentress

Isentress is an antiretroviral drug used alongside other ARVs to treat HIV infection. This med, which belongs to drugs of a class known as integrase inhibitors [1], contains an active ingredient known as raltegravir. Isentress is approved for use in a strategy called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent contracting the infection by people who have been exposed to the virus.

This medicine works by slowing down or stopping the replication of the virus. This way, it gives room for the immune system to become stronger and more active against opportunistic infections.

Isentress is to be taken orally with water, with or without food. Common side effects associated with this drug include headache, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, and nausea. These negative after-effects are normal, especially for first-time users of the med, and often go away within a short period of time. However, an immediate report should be made to a healthcare provider if they persist.

Is Alcohol Consumption OK While Taking Isentress?

While there is yet no known interaction between Isentress and alcohol, it is safer to stay sober while using it. This is because there is a good chance of alcohol intensifying the side effects associated with the drug (dizziness and drowsiness, for example). Moreover, it can cause the immune system to be less effective and even damage the liver [2]. Always inform your doctor of any discomfort or abnormalities experienced while medicating.


  1. Raltegravir.
  2. HIV and Specific Populations. Last reviewed July 31, 2019.
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