Norvir (Ritonavir) + Alcohol

Alcohol can be used with Norvir (ritonavir) since there is no evidence of interference [1]. However, it’s very important that you don’t mix alcohol with the drug without consulting a doctor.

Main Information About Norvir

Ritonavir is an active peptidomimetic HIV aspartyl protease inhibitor administered orally. HIV protease inhibition prevents Gag-Pol polyprotein connection breakdown, leading to the formation of incapable and immature virus particles. Ritonavir shows minimal activity with human aspartyl protease and has a high affinity for HIV protease. The drug can be used by children older than 1 month and adults for combinational therapy [2].

An increase of Norvir dosage administered gradually in the initial treatment period can improve drug tolerance. The first dose is usually 300 mg or more twice a day for 3 days, then increased by 100 mg twice a day to 600 mg twice a day for two weeks.

Can Norvir Be Used with Alcohol?

There isn’t proper evidence of ritonavir interacting with alcohol. However, one should not consume excessive amounts of alcohol. Alcohol is known to elevate the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). As a result, nerve signals are reduced and cognitive/physical capabilities are lowered [3]. This may affect decision making in patients and they are likely to have poor adherence to the HIV treatment regimen and the rapid progression of the infection. As alcohol use is considered a barrier to treatment adherence, irregular compliance with a proper HIV regimen may lead to drug resistance.

Alcohol can be linked to risky behavior and patients may fail to take proper care of their health, putting them at risk of lowering their immunity and being attacked by pathogens. Also, alcohol is known to exacerbate the side effects of ART [4]. Getting advice from a doctor and close monitoring are advised whenever ritonavir and alcohol are administered together.


  1. Drug Interaction Checker. Reviewed October 15, 2019.
  2. Ritonavir.
  3. Neuroscience Research and Therapeutic Targets. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. No. 61. Published April 2004.
  4. Influence of alcohol consumption on adherence to and toxicity of antiretroviral therapy and survival. Braithwaite RS, Bryant KJ. Alcohol Res Health. 2010; 33(3): 280–287.
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