Generic Name: nevirapine (ne VYE ra peen)Brand Names: Viramune
Nevirapine is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.
Nevirapine is used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Nevirapine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.
Nevirapine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
There are many other medicines that can interact with nevirapine, or make it less effective. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.
HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.Avoid having unprotected sex or sharing needles, razors, or toothbrushes. Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Talk with your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.
If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before you take nevirapine, tell your doctor if you have:
if you have ever taken delavirdine (Rescriptor) or efavirenz (Sustiva) and they were not effective in treating your condition.
Your name may need to be listed on an antiviral pregnancy registry when you start using nevirapine. The purpose of this registry is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and delivery to evaluate whether nevirapine had any effect on the baby.You should not breast-feed while you are using nevirapine. Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed at all. Even if your baby is born without HIV, you may still pass the virus to the baby in your breast milk.
Take nevirapine exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Nevirapine is usually taken only once daily for the first 2 weeks, and then increased to twice daily. Starting with a low dose can reduce your risk of skin reactions. Follow your doctor's instructions about how often to take the medication.
If you stop taking nevirapine for longer than 7 days, call your doctor before you start taking the medicine again. You may have to start with a lower dose.Take nevirapine with a full glass of water. You may also take the medicine with milk or a soft drink.
Nevirapine can be taken with or without food.Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood cells and liver function will need to be tested on a regular basis. This testing is especially important during the first 6 to 18 weeks you are taking nevirapine. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
It is important to take nevirapine regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescriptions refilled before you run out of medicine completely.Do not take nevirapine as your only HIV medication. HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. Your disease may become resistant to nevirapine if you do not take it in combination with other HIV medicines your doctor has prescribed.
To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.Store nevirapine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
See also: Nevirapine dosage in more detail
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Overdose symptoms may include skin rash, headache, dizziness, tired feeling, sleep problems, nausea, vomiting , weight loss, fever, joint pain or swelling, red or tender bumps on your shins, wheezing, cough, or trouble breathing.
fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or
any other signs of new infection.
Less serious side effects may include:
mild nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain;
headache, tired feeling; or
changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Usual Adult Dose for HIV Infection:
Initial dose: 200 mg orally once a day for 14 daysMaintenance dose: 200 mg orally twice a day in combination with nucleoside analog antiretroviral agents
Usual Adult Dose for Reduction of Perinatal Transmission of HIV:
Women without antepartum antiretroviral therapy: 200 mg orally once as a single dose at the onset of laborAccording to the Perinatal HIV Guidelines Working Group, single dose nevirapine may be given to the mother in addition to IV intrapartum zidovudine.
Usual Pediatric Dose for HIV Infection:
15 days or older:Initial dose: 150 mg/m2 orally once a day for 14 daysMaintenance dose: 150 mg/m2 orally twice a dayMaximum dose: 200 mg/doseAccording to the Working Group on Antiretroviral Therapy and Medical Management of HIV-Infected Children, younger children (e.g., 8 years or less) may require 200 mg/m2 orally twice a day. The total daily dose should not exceed 400 mg.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Reduction of Perinatal Transmission of HIV:
Infant of mother without antepartum antiretroviral therapy: 2 mg/kg orally once as a single dose given between birth and 72 hours of ageIf the mother did not receive nevirapine or received nevirapine 2 hours or less before delivery, the neonatal dose should be administered as soon as possible after birth.According to the Perinatal HIV Guidelines Working Group, single dose nevirapine may be given to the neonate in addition to 6 weeks of zidovudine therapy.
There are many other medicines that can interact with nevirapine, or make it less effective. Before taking nevirapine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
St. John's wort;
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), rifabutin (Mycobutin), or rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane);
ergot medicine such as ergotamine (Ergomar, Ergostat, Cafergot, Ercaf, Wigraine), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal Nasal Spray), ergonovine (Ergotrate), or methylergonovine (Methergine);
heart or blood pressure medications such as amlodipine (Norvasc), diltiazem (Tiazac, Cartia, Cardizem), felodipine (Plendil), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat), nimodipine (Nimotop), nisoldipine (Sular), or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan);
medication to prevent organ transplant rejection;
other HIV medicines such as nelfinavir (Viracept), efavirenz (Sustiva), indinavir (Crixivan), lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), nevirapine (Viramune), or saquinavir (Invirase); or
seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), clonazepam (Klonopin), or ethosuximide (Zarontin).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with nevirapine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.