IMPORTANT NOTE: The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Sustiva
USES: This medication is used to treat HIV infection in combination with other anti-HIV medications. If efavirenz is the only drug you take to treat HIV infection, it may stop working. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
HOW TO USE: Take this drug by mouth, generally once daily as directed. Take on an empty stomach with a glass of water. Taking efavirenz with food, especially a high-fat meal can lead to increased blood levels of the drug and increase your risk of having side effects. Best taken at bedtime during the first month of use. Using this drug regularly at bedtime may decrease certain side effects. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day. Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed, or stop taking it unless directed to do so by your doctor. Read the patient information leaflet provided by your pharmacist.
SIDE EFFECTS: Dizziness, drowsiness or trouble sleeping may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly. Report promptly: skin rash. Unlikely but report promptly: mood/mental changes (e.g., depression, and in rare cases, thoughts of suicide), dark urine, stomach pain, yellowing eyes or skin, fever. Very unlikely but report promptly: seizures. Some side effects (such as dizziness, drowsiness, certain mental changes) may decrease as your body adjusts to the drug. Changes in body fat may occur while you are taking this medication (e.g., increased fat in the upper back and stomach areas, decreased fat in the arms and legs). The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss the risks and benefits of therapy with your doctor, as well as the possible role of exercise to reduce this side effect. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
PRECAUTIONS: Tell your doctor your medical history, including: allergies, mental disorders, liver disease (such as hepatitis). Limit alcohol intake, as it may intensify drug side effects. Caution when performing tasks requiring alertness (e.g., driving), since this drug may cause dizziness, drowsiness or unsteadiness. Women in the childbearing years should have a pregnancy test before using this drug. Pregnancy should be avoided while using this drug. Barrier-type (latex condom) birth control should always be used along with other methods of birth control (such as birth control pills). If already pregnant, use this drug only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known whether this drug is excreted into breast milk. Avoid breast-feeding because breast milk can transmit HIV. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for any questions. Caution is advised when using this drug in children, as this group may be more likely to develop rash.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Tell your doctor of all nonprescription and prescription medication you may use, especially of: astemizole, cisapride, midazolam, triazolam, ergot drugs (e.g., methysergide, dihydroergotamine), other drugs causing liver problems (e.g., isoniazid), HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., indinavir, lopinavir, ritonavir), nevirapine, warfarin, clarithromycin, St. John's wort. Also report the use of drugs that can cause drowsiness such as: sedatives, tranquilizers, psychiatric drugs (e.g., amitriptyline), anti-seizure and anti-anxiety drugs, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), muscle relaxants, certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine). Many nonprescription products (e.g., cough-and-cold products) contain antihistamines. Check labels carefully. Consult your pharmacist. This drug may interfere with certain laboratory tests (such as cannabinoids/marijuana false positive result). Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
NOTES: This product is not a cure for HIV infection but has shown positive results. The long-term effects are unknown at this time. Keep all doctor appointments and scheduled laboratory tests (e.g., liver function) as your condition will be checked closely. Be aware that this product does not reduce the risk of passing the virus to others through sexual contact or blood contamination. This is a potent product which should not be shared. Do not allow anyone else to use your medication.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is within 2 hours of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. It is important not to miss doses of this drug.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature (77 degrees F/25 degrees C). Storage for brief periods at 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Developed by First DataBank, Inc., San Bruno, CA
Copyright 2004 by First DataBank, Inc.