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Name of generic: Efavirenz [e-FAVor-benz”e-FAV-ir”]

Brand name : Sustiva.
Dosage forms: Oral capsule (200 mg; 50 mg); oral tablet (600 mg)
Drug class: NNRTIs

What is Efavirenz?

Efavirenz is an antiviral drug that prevents the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from growing in your body.Efavirenz can be used for treating HIV, the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Efavirenz is a treatment for adults and children that are at least 3 months old and weigh a minimum of 8 pounds. Efavirenz is not an effective treatment to treat HIV or AIDS.Efavirenz can also be employed for other purposes that are not covered in this guideline.

Side effects of Efavirenz

Seek medical attention immediately when you are experiencing symptoms or warning signs of an allergic response (hives or breathing difficulties and swelling of your throat or face) or a severe reaction to your skin (fever, sore throat, burnt eyes, irritation, and a red or purple skin rash that blisters as well as peeling).Efavirenz may cause serious side effects. Should you experience:

  • A seizure;
  • Hallucinations, difficulty talking, hallucinations, or trouble moving (these symptoms can happen in the months or years following your take of efavirenz);
  • Nervous system disorders: dizziness, sleepiness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, odd visions, insomnia, or issues with balance, speech, or muscle movement
  • Severe psychiatric signs and symptoms severe psychiatric signs: anxiety or paranoia, odd behaviors, feeling sad or hopeless, hallucinations, suicidal ideas,
  • Liver disorders: nausea, stomach pain, lack of appetite, dark urine, stools that are clay-colored, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin);

Nervous system issues could occur months or even years after you've been taking efavirenz.Efavirenz can affect the immune system and cause some adverse effects (even months or weeks after taking it). Inform your physician immediately if you experience:

  • Indications of a new infection: fever, night sweats, swollen glands, cold sores, cough, and wheezing. Diarrhea, weight loss
  • Difficulties swallowing or speaking difficulties with balance, weak eye movement, or prickly sensation problems swallowing or speaking;
  • Swelling in your throat or neck (enlarged thyroid), menstrual cycles, impotence

Common negative effects of efavirenz can include:

  • Nausea, vomiting;
  • Dizziness, drowsiness, trouble concentrating;
  • Rash;
  • Headache, fatigue, tired feeling
  • Sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams,
  • Modifications in the form or position of fat (especially on your body, legs, facial area, neck, breasts, waist, and neck).

It's not a comprehensive list of all negative effects. Other side effects could be present. Consult your physician to seek medical advice on adverse effects. Please call 1-800-FDA-1088 if any side effects arise and report them immediately.


It is not recommended to use efavirenz in conjunction with the medications elbasvir and grazoprevir (Zepatier) to treat the symptoms of hepatitis C.

Prior to use this drug

It is not recommended to take efavirenz when you have an allergy to it or take elbasvir and grazoprevir (Zepatier) to combat the infection of hepatitis C.Do not take Atripla (a combination of efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir) except if your physician has advised you to.Talk to your doctor in the event that you've had:

  • The liver condition (including hepatitis B or C);
  • Long QT syndrome;
  • A seizure;
  • Psychosis, such as schizophrenia;
  • Coronary disease
  • If you drink a lot of alcohol or have a history of injecting or other drug abuse,

Do not take Efavirenz if you're expecting.Pregnancies could become harmful and result in birth defects if unchecked, which could place the unborn baby at risk of injury or complications during gestation.Utilize two methods for contraceptives for birth, such as an alternative form of birth control (condom diaphragm, diaphragm, cervical cap, as well as the contraceptive sponge), to avoid pregnancy while taking efavirenz, and for a minimum of 12 weeks following the last dose. Contact your physician if you are pregnant while taking treatment.Contraceptives for hormonal use (birth control pills, implants, injection patches, or vaginal rings) may not be sufficient to stop pregnancy when you are on efavirenz.HIV is a virus that can infect your baby if it is not managed during pregnancy. Your name could be included on a registry in order to monitor the effects of antiviral medications on your baby.Women suffering from HIV or AIDS are not allowed to breastfeed infants. Even if the baby is born with no HIV, it is possible that the virus will be transmitted to the child through breast milk.

How to take Efavirenz?

Follow all instructions on the label of your prescription and also read the medication guides or instructions sheets. Make sure you use the medicine exactly as prescribed.Efavirenz should be administered together with other antiviral medicines, and it is not recommended to use it on its own. Your disease may develop resistance to efavirenz if you don't use it along with other HIV medications your doctor has prescribed.Use efavirenz with an empty stomach prior to bedtime.Be sure to read and adhere to any instructions for use that come along with your medication. Consult your physician or pharmacist for clarification if you are unsure of the instructions.Take your tablet whole, and don't crush, chew, or break it.If you are unable to swallow the capsule completely, open it up and then sprinkle the medicine in an applesauce spoonful, grape jelly, yogurt, and infant formula (if you're feeding the drug to a child). Consume the mix immediately. Don't save it for later use.

When you have taken efavirenz using this method of sprinkle, don't take food for 2 hours. If you give efavirenz in formula for infants to newborns, don't feed any more formula for a minimum of 2 hours following.Efavirenz doses are determined by the weight of children. The dose requirements of your child could be altered if the child increases or sheds pounds.You'll need to take regular medical tests.Regularly take efavirenz to gain the maximum benefits. Not taking your doses regularly can increase the chance of the virus becoming resistant to antiviral medication.Place it in a cool, dry place far from heat and moisture.This medicine could alter the results of a urine test for drug screening and cause inaccurate results. Inform the laboratory personnel that you are taking efavirenz.Make sure to take all HIV medications according to the directions and carefully read the drug guides you are given. Don't alter your dose or schedule of dosing without your doctor's approval. Anyone suffering from HIV must remain under the supervision of a physician.

Details on dosage

Usual Adult Dose for HIV Infection:

600 mg orally every day
This drug should be taken in conjunction with a protease inhibitor or NRTIs.
Use: In conjunction with other antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV-1 infection

Usual Adult Dose for Nonoccupational Exposure:

US CDC recommendations: 600 mg taken orally every day
The duration of treatment was 28 days.
This medication should be administered in conjunction with lamivudine or emtricitabine in combination with zidovudine or tenofovir, which is the most effective NNRTI-based regimen to treat non-occupational post exposure prevention in the case of HIV-infected people.
Prophylaxis should be initiated immediately and within 72 hours after exposure.
Not accepted by the US FDA.

Usual Adult Dose for Occupational Exposure:

US Public Health Service working group guidelines: 600 mg orally every day
The duration of therapy is at least 28 days, provided that it is tolerated.
A different antiretroviral agent to use for HIV postexposure treatment only after professional consultation
The procedure should be initiated immediately, ideally within a few hours of the exposure.
The ideal duration for prophylaxis is not known and could vary based on the protocol of the institution.
The most up-to-date treatment guidelines should be reviewed for more details.
Not accepted by the US FDA.

Usual Pediatric Dose for HIV Infection:

3 months or more:
3.5 up to 5kg: 100 mg taken orally at least once per day
5. to 7.5 kg, 150 mg taken orally, every day
7.5 or less, 15 kg, 200 mg, orally every day
15 to less than 20 kg, 250 mg, orally at least once per day
20 to less than 25 kg, 300 mg, orally at least once per day
between 25 and 32.5 kg, orally at least once per day.
32.5 or less, 40 kg, 400 mg, orally, twice every day
More than 40kg: 600 mg daily every day
Use: In conjunction with other antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV-1 infection

What happens if I miss the dose?

You should take the medication as quickly as you can. However, do not take any missed doses if it's nearing the time to take the next dose. Don't have two doses at one time.Make sure you refill your prescriptions before the expiration date of your medicines.

What happens if I overdose?

Get medical attention in an emergency or contact the Poison Help Line toll-free at 1-800-222-1222.

What should be avoided?

Avoid driving and other hazardous activities until you understand the effects of efavirenz on your body. The way you react could be impaired.Drinking alcohol can trigger the adverse effects of efavirenz.The use of this medication will not stop your illness from spreading. Don't engage in sexual activity that is not protected or share toothbrushes and razors. Consult your doctor regarding safe methods to avoid HIV transmission through sex. Sharing needles with medicine or drugs is not safe, even for healthy individuals.

Interaction with other drugs

There are times when it's not recommended to take certain medications simultaneously. Certain drugs may affect the blood levels of other medications that you take, which can cause more side effects or make the medication less effective.Efavirenz may cause a serious heart condition. The risk is greater if you are also taking various other drugs to treat asthma, infections, and heart conditions, as well as high blood pressure, mental illness, depression, malaria, cancer, or HIV.Other medications can affect efavirenz, such as prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal products. Discuss with your doctor the medicines you are currently taking and any medication you begin or stop taking.



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