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Generic name: Efavirenz [e-FAV-ir-enz]
Drug class: NNRTIs

What is Sustiva?

Sustiva is an antiviral medication that stops human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) from multiplying throughout your body. Sustiva can be used to treat HIV. The virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) Sustiva is available to children and adults who are three months of age and weigh eight pounds or less. Sustiva is not an effective treatment for HIV or AIDS.


It is not recommended to take Sustiva in conjunction with elbasvir or grazoprevir (Zepatier) to treat the symptoms of hepatitis C. Sustiva could result in serious psychiatric symptoms, including anxiety, depression with severe suicidal thoughts, anger, excessive anxiety, hallucinations, and strange behavior. Get your doctor's attention immediately if you are experiencing any of these reactions, even if you've been through them before.

Do not take efavirenz without consulting your physician if you are pregnant. It could cause harm to the unborn baby. Utilize two methods of birth control, such as one that is a barrier (such as diaphragms or condoms with spermicide gel), when you take this medication and for at least 12 weeks after the treatment is over. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant while you are taking treatment. Sustiva is a prescription drug. Sustiva does not stop you from transmitting HIV to others. Consult your doctor about the safest methods to avoid HIV transmission through sexual contact. Sharing needles for medicine or drugs is not safe for a healthy individual.

Before you start taking this medicine

It is not recommended to make use of Sustiva in the event that you are sensitive to efavirenz or if you are taking elbasvir as well as grazoprevir (Zepatier) to treat hepatitis C.

Do not take Atripla (a combination of efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir) except if your physician has advised you to.

Inform your doctor if you have ever suffered from:

  • The liver (including hepatitis B or C);
  • Long QT syndrome;
  • A seizure
  • Mental illness or psychosi
  • Heart disease heart disease
  • If you drink a lot of alcohol or are a victim of an addiction to injection drugs.

Do not take Sustiva when you are expecting. It could harm the unborn baby or cause birth defects. Utilize two forms of birth control. These include one that is a barrier (condom diaphragm or cervical cap as well as the contraceptive sponge) to avoid pregnancy while taking this medication and up to 12 weeks following the last dose. Inform your physician in the event that you become pregnant while on treatment.

Contraceptives for hormonal use (birth control pills, injections, implants, skin patches, and vaginal rings) may not be sufficient to stop pregnancy when you are using Sustiva.

HIV is a virus that can infect your child if the virus 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 who have HIV or AIDS shouldn't breastfeed babies. Even if the baby is born without HIV, it is possible that the virus will be transmitted to your baby through breast milk.

How to take Sustiva?

Consume Sustiva exactly as directed by your physician. Follow the instructions on the label of your prescription and also read the medication guide or instructions sheets. Make sure you use the medicine exactly as prescribed. Sustiva is to be used together with other antiviral medicines and should not be taken on its own. Your disease may become resistant to efavirenz if you don't use it with other HIV medications your doctor has prescribed. Use Sustiva with a full stomach prior to bedtime.

Be sure to read and adhere to any instructions for use that are included in your medication. Consult your physician or pharmacist if you don't understand the instructions. Suck it whole. Swallow the tablet in its entirety, but do not crush, chew, or break it. If you can't take a capsule in its entirety, then open it and sprinkle the medicine in the form of a spoonful of applesauce, grape jelly, yogurt, and infant formula (if you're feeding the drug to a newborn). Consume the mix immediately. Don't store it for use later.

After you have taken Sustiva by sprinkles, don't consume food for the next two hours. If you feed Sustiva in combination with baby formula, don't feed any more formula for a minimum of 2 hours after.Efavirenz doses are determined by the weight of children. Your child's dosage requirements may be altered if your child grows and/or loses weight. You'll need to take regular medical examinations. Use Sustiva on a regular basis to reap the greatest benefits. The absence of doses could increase the likelihood of the virus developing resistance to antiviral drugs.

Keep at room temperature, free of heat and moisture. This medicine could alter urine tests for screening drugs and result in incorrect results. Inform the laboratory personnel that you are taking efavirenz. Utilize all HIV medication according to the directions and carefully read the drug guides you are given. Don't alter your dose or dosing schedule unless you have your physician's guidance. Anyone suffering from HIV should be under the supervision of a physician.

Details on dosage

Usual Adult Dose for HIV Infection:

600 mg taken orally, once a day

This drug should be taken in conjunction with a protease inhibitor or NRTI.

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

Usual Adult Dose for Nonoccupational Exposure:

US CDC recommendations: 600 mg taken orally every day
Therapy duration The duration of therapy is 28 days.

This drug should be taken together (lamivudine or emtricitabine) in combination with zidovudine or tenofovir and is recommended as the most appropriate NNRTI-based treatment for non-occupational postexposure prevention in the case of HIV disease.
The procedure should be initiated as soon as possible and within 72 hours after exposure.
Not approved by the US FDA.

Usual Adult Dose for Occupational Exposure:

US Public Health Service working group recommendations: 600 mg taken orally at least once per day
The duration of therapy is at least 28 days, provided that the treatment is well tolerated.

A different antiretroviral agent to use for HIV postexposure prevention only after professional consultation
The treatment should begin as soon as possible and should be initiated within the first 24 hours following the exposure.
The optimal time for prophylaxis is not known and could vary based on the protocol of the institution.
The most recent treatment guidelines should be reviewed to get more information.
Not endorsed 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, orally, twice every day
7.5 or less, 15 kg, 200 mg taken orally, daily
15 to less than 20 kg, 250 mg taken orally, at least once per day
20 to less than 25 kg, 300 mg taken orally every day
between 25 and 32.5 kg, 350 mg, orally, twice per day
32.5 or less, 40 kg, 400 mg, orally at least once per day.
400 mg or greater of oral at least once per day

Use: In conjunction with other antiretroviral medications to treat HIV-1 infection

What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the medication as quickly as you are able, but do not take your missed dose if you are nearing the time to take the next dose. Don't take two doses at once.

Make sure you refill your prescriptions before you run out of medicine completely.

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 can you do to

Avoid driving and other hazardous activities until you understand the effects this medication will have on your body. The way you react could be impaired. Drinking alcohol can trigger the adverse effects of efavirenz.

This medicine won't hinder the spread of your disease. Be sure not to engage in unprotected sexual sex or share toothbrushes and razors. Consult your doctor regarding safe methods to avoid HIV transmission during sexual contact. Sharing needles for medicine or drugs is never safe for healthy individuals.

Side effects of Sustiva

Take immediate medical attention when you are experiencing symptoms that suggest an allergy reaction with Sustiva (hives, breathing problems, or swelling in your throat or face) or a severe reaction to your skin (fever and sore throat, eye burning, irritation, and a red or purple skin eruption with peeling and blisters).

See your doctor right away. If you suffer from:

  • A seizure;
  • Hallucinations, difficulty concentrating, difficulty speaking or moving (these symptoms can occur several months or even years after you begin taking efavirenz);
  • Nervous system disorders that cause blurred vision, dizziness, trouble concentrating, odd dreams, insomnia, or problems with balance, speech, or muscle movement.
  • Serious psychiatric signs such as anxiety, paranoia, or unusual behavior; feeling depressed or depressed; hallucinations; suicidal ideas; or
  • Liver issues nausea stomach pain, hunger, dark urine, clay-colored stool, and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin);

Sustiva can result in serious psychiatric symptoms, including feelings of sadness or despair, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, hallucinations, fear, trouble moving or speaking, or unusual behavior. Get your doctor's attention immediately. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, even if you've been through them before,

Efavirenz alters your immune system and can cause some side effects (even weeks or months after taking this medication). Consult your physician when you experience:

  • Indications of an outbreak of infection such as night sweats, fever, swelling of glands, cold sores, cough, wheezing, diarrhea, and weight loss;
  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking; issues with balance or the eye; weakness; a prickly sensation; or
  • Swelling in your throat or neck (enlarged thyroid), menstrual cycles, impotence

Common side effects of Sustiva include:

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

This is not a comprehensive list of all the side effects. Other side effects could occur. Consult your physician for advice regarding medical effects. You can report symptoms to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Interaction with other drugs

It is sometimes not safe to take certain medications together. Certain drugs may affect the blood levels of other medications that you take, which can create side effects or render the drugs less effective.

Sustiva may cause severe heart conditions. Your risk of developing heart problems is higher if you take different medicines to treat asthma, infections, heart conditions, high blood pressure, mental illness, depression, malaria, cancer, or HIV.

Other medications may interfere with efavirenz. This includes medications that are prescribed and available over the counter, vitamins, and herbal products. Inform your physician about all the medications you currently use as well as any medications you are about to start or stop taking.