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EFAVIRENZ (e fa VEER ens) is an antiretroviral medicine. It is used with other medicines to treat HIV. This medicine is not a cure for HIV. It will not stop the spread of HIV to others.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
history of a drug or alcohol abuse problem
history of depression or other mental illness
taking any other medicines
an unusual or allergic reaction to efavirenz, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before or 2 hours after food. Do not take with food. Take your dose at bedtime. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. For your anti-HIV therapy to work as well as possible, take each dose exactly as prescribed. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine even if you feel better. Skipping doses may make the HIV virus resistant to this medicine and other medicines. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 3 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
medicines for headaches like dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine
St. John's Wort
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections
medicines for blood pressure like diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil
medicines for cholesterol like simvastatin
medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole, itraconazole, and posaconazole
medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
medicines for sleep
other medicines for HIV
red yeast rice
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Discuss any new symptoms with your doctor. You will need to have important blood work done while on this medicine.
HIV is spread to others through sexual or blood contact. Talk to your doctor about how to stop the spread of HIV.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Avoid alcohol and mood altering (street) drugs while taking this medicine because they can make these side effects worse.
Birth control pills may not work properly while you are taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor about using an extra method of birth control. Women who can still have children must use a reliable form of barrier contraception, like a condom or diaphragm.
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
changes in behavior like severe depression, strange thoughts, thoughts of suicide, or angry behavior
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
difficulty sleeping, strange dreams
upset stomach, vomiting
weight gain around waist, back, or thinning of face, arms, legs
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.