Efavirenz Generic Name:
Efavirenz (eh-FAV-er-enz)Brand Name:
Efavirenz is used for:
Treating HIV infection in combination with other medicines. If Efavirenz is taken alone to treat HIV, it may stop working.
Efavirenz is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). It works by blocking the growth of HIV.
Do NOT use Efavirenz if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Efavirenz
- you are taking astemizole, bepridil, certain benzodiazepines (eg, midazolam, triazolam), cisapride, an ergot medicine (eg, ergotamine, methylergonovine), pimozide, St. John's wort, or terfenadine
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Efavirenz :
Some medical conditions may interact with Efavirenz . 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, breast-feeding, or of childbearing age
- 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
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Efavirenz . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Astemizole, bepridil, cisapride, pimozide , or terfenadine because serious heart problems (eg, irregular heartbeat) may occur
- Midazolam or triazolam because serious side effects such as prolonged sedation or breathing problems may occur
- Ergot medicines (eg, ergotamine, methylergonovine) because serious blood flow problems may occur
- St. John's wort because it may decrease Efavirenz 's effectiveness
- Protease inhibitors (eg, amprenavir, ritonavir) or warfarin because their effectiveness may be decreased or the risk of their side effects may be increased by Efavirenz
- Azole antifungals (eg itraconazole), calcium channel blockers (eg, diltiazem, nifedipine), carbamazepine, certain hormonal contraceptives (eg, birth control pills), HMG Co-A reductase inhibitors (eg, atorvastatin), macrolide antibiotics (eg, clarithromycin) methadone, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifabutin, rifampin, sertraline, or voriconazole because their effectiveness may be decreased by Efavirenz
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Efavirenz 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 Efavirenz :
Use Efavirenz as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with Efavirenz . Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- Take Efavirenz by mouth on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating. Taking Efavirenz with food, especially with a high-fat meal, may lead to increased blood levels of Efavirenz . This may increase your risk for side effects.
- Take Efavirenz with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL).
- Take Efavirenz at the same time(s) every day, preferably at bedtime unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
- Continue to use Efavirenz even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- If you miss a dose of Efavirenz , take it as soon as possible. If it is within 2 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Efavirenz .
Important safety information:
- Efavirenz may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Efavirenz with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Efavirenz ; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
- Do not take more of Efavirenz than prescribed by your doctor. Taking more medicine than prescribed may not provide additional benefits and may increase the risks of side effects.
- Efavirenz is not a cure for HIV infection. Patients may still get illnesses and infections associated with HIV. Remain under the care of your doctor.
- Efavirenz 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.
- Efavirenz will not prevent you from getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Always use a condom during sexual intercourse.
- If your health changes, check with your doctor.
- 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 Efavirenz . The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss any concerns with your doctor.
- Efavirenz may interfere with certain lab tests, including cannabinoids/marijuana false-positive result. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking Efavirenz .
- Talk to your doctor about whether you should have a pregnancy test before you begin taking Efavirenz .
- Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using Efavirenz . To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms).
- Lab tests, including liver function, may be performed while you use Efavirenz . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Efavirenz should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 3 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Efavirenz may cause harm to the fetus. Do not become pregnant while you are using it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Efavirenz while you are pregnant. It is not known if Efavirenz is found in breast milk. Mothers infected with HIV should not breast-feed. There is a risk of passing the HIV infection or Efavirenz to the baby.
Possible side effects of Efavirenz :
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:
Abnormal dreams; changes in body fat; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; headache; trouble concentrating; trouble sleeping.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); bizarre behavior; change in personality, behavior, mood, or emotions; dark urine or pale stools; delusions; hallucinations; memory loss; mouth sores; paranoia; rash with or without fever; severe depression; suicidal thoughts or behaviors; unusual fatigue; vision changes; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
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. Symptoms may include muscle twitching.Proper storage of Efavirenz :
Store Efavirenz at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Efavirenz out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about Efavirenz , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Efavirenz 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 Efavirenz . 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.
- Efavirenz Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
- Efavirenz Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
- efavirenz Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Sustiva Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Sustiva Consumer Overview