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Generic Name: Nelfinavir [nel-FIN-a-veer]
Name of the Brand: Viracept
Dosage Format: Oral tablet (250 mg; 625 mg)
The Class of Drugs: Protease inhibitors

What is Nelfinavir?

Nelfinavir is an antiviral drug that is prescribed to treat HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). HIV can trigger an acquired immune deficiency disorder (AIDS). Nelfinavir isn't an effective treatment for HIV and AIDS.Nelfinavir is suitable for adults and children who are at least 2 years old.Nelfinavir is also employed for other purposes that are not covered in this medication guide.

Side effects of Nelfinavir

Seek medical attention immediately in the event that you exhibit symptoms that indicate an allergy, such as asthma, hives, and swelling of your lips, face, and tongue.

Nelfinavir may cause serious side effects. Contact your doctor immediately. If you suffer from:

  • Low white blood cell count Low white blood cell counts low white blood cell

    counts—mouth sores, wounds on the face, sore throat, cough;

  • High blood sugar—increased thirst, more frequent urine output, a dry mouth or breath that smells of fruit

  • If you suffer from hemophilia, you may have easy bleeding, unusual bruises (nose, vagina, mouth, or rectum), and red or purple areas of skin that are aplenty.

Nelfinavir can impact the immune system (even months or weeks after nelfinavir has been used). Inform your doctor whether you suffer from:

  • Indications of a new infection: fever, night sweats, swollen glands, sores from a cold, wheezing, coughing, weight loss, diarrhea

  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking issues with balance or eye movement weak or prickly sensation; problems swallowing or speaking;

  • Swelling in your throat or neck (enlarged thyroid), menstrual cycles, impotence

Common adverse effects of nelfinavir include:

  • Low white blood cell count;

  • Nausea, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain;

  • Loss of appetite

  • Rashes

  • Modifications in the form or position of your body fat (especially the legs, arms, face, and neck), the breasts, your waist, and your neck).

This is not a comprehensive list of possible side effects, and other side effects could be present. Contact your doctor to seek medical advice on adverse effects. You can report symptoms to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Similar/related drugs

Biktarvy, Descovy, Truvada, Tenofovir, Emtricitabine, Lamivudine, and Atripla


Talk to your physician about the medicines you use in addition to the ones listed above. Certain medications shouldn't be taken together with nelfinavir.

Before you take this drug

You shouldn't take nelfinavir if you are allergic to it or if you suffer from a mild or serious liver illness.

Certain medications should not be used in conjunction with nelfinavir. The treatment plan you are using could change depending on whether you also take:

  • Alfuzosin;

  • Cisapride;

  • Rifampin;

  • Sildenafil (Revatio for pulmonary hypertension in the lungs);

  • St. John's wort;

  • Amiodarone and quinidine;

  • lovastatin or simvastatin;

  • lurasidone, pimozide;

  • Oral midazolam or triazolam;

  • Ergot medicine: dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, ergonovine, and methylergonovine.

Inform your doctor if you were ever diagnosed with:

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • diabetes

  • A hemorrhagic disorder like hemophilia.

Nelfinavir oral powder is a source of phenylalanine, which can be dangerous when you suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU).

To prevent HIV infection in the newborn baby, take all the medications you can to prevent your infection during pregnancy. Your name might be listed on the registry of antiviral pregnant women.

Nelfinavir can make hormone-based hormonal birth controls more ineffective, such as birth control pills, injectables, implants, patches for the skin, and vaginal rings. You can use barriers to control births to avoid pregnancy: condoms, diaphragm cervical caps, and diaphragm contraceptive sponges.

Women suffering from HIV shouldn't feed their babies. HIV can infect your infant through breast milk.

How to take Nelfinavir?

Follow all instructions on the label of your prescription and also read the medication guides or instruction sheets. Make sure you use the medication precisely as directed.Take it along with food.Take the nelfinavir tablet in its entirety.If you can't swallow the entire tablet, take a tiny amount out of the water. Mix it up and drink it immediately. Add some water to the glass, stir with a gentle swirl, and drink it right away.

Mix the powder for oral use in a glass with the addition of a tiny amount of milk, water, infant formula, milk made from soy, or a dietary supplement that is liquid. To avoid bitterness, avoid mixing your powder with acidic liquids, such as apple juice, orange juice, or applesauce.

Consume all the mixed powder as soon as you can. If a child who is taking Nelfinavir isn't able to finish the entire dosage, you can keep the powder in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours.Doses are determined by weight gain in children. The dose for your child could change depending on whether the child gains or sheds pounds.

Utilize all HIV medication according to the directions. Don't change the dose or stop taking medication without consulting your physician. Keep your medication under the supervision of a physician.You'll require frequent medical examinations.Place it in a cool, dry place free of heat and moisture.

Details on dosage

Usual Adult Dose for HIV Infection:

1250 mg taken orally twice per day or 750 mg taken orally three times per day

Use: When combined with other antiretroviral medications to treat HIV-1 infection

Usual Adult Dose for Nonoccupational Exposure:

US CDC recommendations: 1250 mg taken orally twice daily (750 mg orally) three times per day.

Time of treatment The duration of therapy is 28 days.


Recommendation as part of an alternative treatment plan for non-occupational post exposure prophylaxis for HIV disease

This medication should be used together with lamivudine or emtricitabine in combination with zidovudine, stavudine, tenofovir, or didanosine.

The procedure should be initiated immediately after 72 hours of exposure.

The current guidelines should be reviewed for more details.

Usual Pediatric Dose for HIV Infection:

2 to 13 years old: between 45 and 55 mg/kg taken orally every day; 25 to 35 mg/kg taken orally 3 times per day.

Maximum dose: 2500 mg/day

Oral powder (50 mg/g):

Between 9 and 10.5 kg: 500 mg every day or 300 mg taken orally three times per day.

10.5 or less: 550 mg taken orally at least twice per day, or 350 mg taken orally three times per day

12 to less than 14kg: 650 mg at least twice per day or 400 mg taken orally three times per day.

14 to 16 kg or less: 750 mg every day, or 450 mg orally three times per day.

16 to 18 kg or less, 500 mg, orally 3 times per day

Between 18 and 23 kg: 600mg daily, 3 times per day.

More than 23kg: 750 mg taken orally three times per day.

Tablets (250 mg):

10–12 pounds: 500 mg taken orally twice per day or 250 mg orally three times per day

13 to 18kg: 750 mg taken orally twice per day or 500 mg orally three times per day

19 to 20 kg: 1200 mg every day, or 500 mg taken orally three times per day.

21 kg or more: 1000–1250 mg taken orally twice daily and 750 mg taken orally three times per day.

13 years old or older:

Tablets: 1250 mg taken orally twice per day or 750 mg orally three times per day.

Comments: For a twice-daily dose, a 250 mg tablet is suggested for children weighing 16 kg or more.

Use: When combined with other antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV-1 infection

What happens If I miss a dose?

You should take the medication as quickly as you can. However, avoid your missed dose if it's close to the time of the next dose. Don't take two doses at once.

Make sure you refill your prescription before you run out of medication completely.

What happens If I overdose?

For medical emergencies, seek emergency medical attention or contact the Poison Help line toll-free at 1-800-222-1222.

What should be avoided?

The use of nelfinavir is not a way to stop your condition from spreading. Don't engage in sexual activity that is not protected or share toothbrushes and razors. Discuss with your doctor ways to stop HIV transmission during sexual contact. Sharing needles for medicine or drugs is not safe.

Interaction with other drugs

If you take doanosine as well, you should take your nelfinavir dose (with food) one hour or longer than two hours prior to when you take didanosine.

A variety of drugs can impact the effects of nelfinavir. Some medicines should not be used together. Inform your doctor of any other medications you take. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all interactions are mentioned here.