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Drugs reference index «Nelfinavir»


Generic Name: Nelfinavir (nel-FIN-a-vir)Brand Name: Viracept

Nelfinavir is used for:

Treating HIV infection in combination with other medicines.

Nelfinavir is an HIV protease inhibitor. It works by blocking a substance that is needed for the HIV virus to multiply.

Do NOT use Nelfinavir if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Nelfinavir
  • you have moderate to severe liver problems
  • you are taking alfuzosin, amiodarone, astemizole, carbamazepine, certain benzodiazepines (eg, midazolam, triazolam), cisapride, an ergot derivative (eg, ergotamine, dihydroergotamine), certain HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, lovastatin, simvastatin), phenobarbital, pimozide, omeprazole, quinidine, rifampin, St. John's wort, or terfenadine
  • you have taken eletriptan within the past 72 hours

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Nelfinavir :

Some medical conditions may interact with Nelfinavir . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver or kidney problems, diabetes, high blood sugar, or hemophilia

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Nelfinavir . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Carbamazepine, omeprazole, phenobarbital, rifampin or St. John's wort because they may decrease Nelfinavir 's effectiveness
  • Alfuzosin, amiodarone, astemizole, certain benzodiazepines (eg, midazolam, triazolam), cisapride, eletriptan, ergot derivatives (eg, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine), certain HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, lovastatin, simvastatin), pimozide, quinidine, or terfenadine because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Nelfinavir
  • Many prescription and nonprescription medicines (eg, used for infections, inflammation, aches and pains, allergies, asthma, birth control, blood thinning, cancer, enlarged prostate, erectile dysfunction, HIV, heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heartburn or ulcers, immune system suppression, irregular heartbeat, mental or mood problems, migraine headaches, seizures, trouble sleeping), multivitamin products, and herbal or dietary supplements (eg, coenzyme Q10, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, herbal teas, St. John's wort) may interact with Nelfinavir , increasing the risk of side effects or decreasing effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Nelfinavir may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Nelfinavir :

Use Nelfinavir as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Nelfinavir . Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Take Nelfinavir by mouth with a meal.
  • If you are not able to swallow Nelfinavir whole, you may crush the tablets and dissolve them in water. Once the medicine is dissolved, mix well and then drink the entire amount right away. Rinse the glass with water and swallow the rinse to be sure that the entire dose is taken.
  • If you are taking didanosine, take it at least 1 hour before or more than 2 hours after Nelfinavir .
  • Take Nelfinavir on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Taking it at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
  • Continue to take Nelfinavir even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Nelfinavir , take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once. If you miss several doses of Nelfinavir , check with your doctor.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Nelfinavir .

Important safety information:

  • Keep a list of all the medicines that you take. Make a new list each time a medicine is added or stopped. Find out about medicines that should not be taken while you are taking Nelfinavir . Be sure that each of your health care providers knows all the medicines that you are taking.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose, change the dose, or stop taking Nelfinavir without checking with your doctor.
  • Nelfinavir is not a cure for HIV infection. Patients may still get illnesses and infections associated with HIV. Remain under the care of your doctor.
  • When your medicine supply is low, get more from your doctor or pharmacist as soon as you can. Do not stop taking Nelfinavir , even for a short period of time. If you do, the virus may grow resistant to the medicine and become harder to treat.
  • Nelfinavir does not stop the spread of HIV to others through blood or sexual contact. Use barrier methods of birth control (eg, condoms) if you have HIV infection. Do not share needles, injection supplies, or items like toothbrushes or razors.
  • Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using Nelfinavir . To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms).
  • Changes in body fat (eg, an increased amount of fat in the upper back, neck, breast, and trunk, and loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face) may occur in some patients taking Nelfinavir . The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss any concerns with your doctor.
  • Nelfinavir may improve immune system function. This may reveal hidden infections in some patients. Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms of infection (eg, fever, sore throat, weakness, cough, shortness of breath) after you start Nelfinavir .
  • Nelfinavir may raise your blood sugar. High blood sugar may make you feel confused, drowsy, or thirsty. It can also make you flush, breathe faster, or have a fruit-like breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away.
  • Diabetes patients - Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Lab tests, including CD4 counts, may be performed while you use Nelfinavir . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Nelfinavir with caution in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to it effects, especially loss of appetite and low white blood cell levels.
  • Nelfinavir should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Nelfinavir while you are pregnant. Mothers infected with HIV should not breast-feed. There is a risk of passing the HIV infection or Nelfinavir to the baby.

Possible side effects of Nelfinavir :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; gas; loss of appetite; nausea; stomach pain.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); fever, chills, or sore throat; mental or mood changes; suicidal thoughts or actions; symptoms of high blood sugar (eg, confusion; flushed face; fruit-like breath odor; increased thirst, hunger, or urination; unusual drowsiness); unusual bleeding or bruising.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Nelfinavir :

Store Nelfinavir at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in its original container. Store away from heat, light, and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Nelfinavir out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Nelfinavir , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Nelfinavir is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Nelfinavir . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

  • nelfinavir Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Viracept Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Viracept Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
  • Viracept Consumer Overview

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