Efavirenz

General Information
 
Uses
 
What should I know before taking this drug
 
Precautions
 
Dosage information
  
Adverse reactions
 
Storage
 
Additional information if any
 

Efavir cap (cipla)
Efferven tab ( Ranbaxy (Super speciality))

Efavirenz is available at your pharmacy store with the prescription of registered medical practitioner.

Efavirenz is pronounced as: eh FAH ver enz

Efavirenz is an anti infective / anti viral drug.

Efavirenz is used in the treatment of HIV (Human immune deficiency virus) infection which causes AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome).

  • Take efavirenz medication exactly as directed by your doctor. If do not understand these instructions ask your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to explain them to you.
  • Efavirenz should be taken preferably on empty stomach with one glass of water. 
  • Avoid high fat meal when on this medication to minimise the sideeffects.
  • Do not skip any doses. Continue to take it even when you feel better. You must complete the entire course of medication. 
  • Do not stop Efavirenz medication abruptly without the advice of your doctor.
  • Efavirenz is known to interact with wide range of drugs. Always remember to inform your health expert if you are currently taking any OTC or other prescription drugs like 
    1. Other drugs for HIV infection(Indinavir, Ritonavir),
    2. Cholesterol lowering drugs( simvastain,lovastatin)
    3. Antiarrhythmics (amiodarone, disopyramide, quinidine)
    4. Antifungal( itraconazole, ketoconazole)
    5. Medication for erectile dysfunction( Viagra)
    6. Anticonvulsants(carbamazapine, , phenytoin)
    7. Blood pressure medication(Amlodipine, verapamil)
    8. Antiallergic drugs(Astemizole)
  • Inform your doctor if you have following medical conditions as Efavirenz should be used cautiously in the below mentioned conditions
    1. Liver disease
    2. High cholesterol or triglyceride levels

Do not take efavirenz if you are suffering from hepatic impairment.

Children: Caution is advised for usage in children < 3years old.

Old people:
Pregnant woman: Efavirenz belongs to  FDA pregnancy category D. This means that efavirenz can harm an unborn baby and cause birth defects if used during pregnancy. Do not use efavirenz with out your doctor consent however its use is justified if the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.
 
Lactating women: Efavirenz passes into breast milk and harm nursing baby. Do not use efavirenz with out the consent from your doctor if you are breastfeeding your child.
 
Other: Avoid activities which require you to be alert as efavirenz causes drowsiness and impairment of thought process &reactions.
Avoid taking alcohol.
 

Efavirenz is available in the form of tablets and capsules.

Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease.
Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication.

For detailed dosage information, consult your doctor who will prescribe you depending on the severity of the disease.
 

If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose.

In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician.

The overdose symptoms of efavirenz are
  • confusion,
  • lack of balance or coordination, 
  • severe mood changes, 
  • suicidal thoughts

What are the common side effects of efavirenz?

Efavirenz may causes following side effects like

  • Unequal distribution of body fat
  • Mood changes
  • Drowsiness 
  • Blurred vision
  • Sleep disturbance

Consult your doctor immediately if notice following symptoms.

  • Psychiatric symptoms like hallucination, delusions, suicidal thoughts
  • Severe depression
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Symptoms of new infection like fever cough, cold etc

Store efavirenz at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any leftover portion is disposed off safely.

  • Efavirenz does not cure or stop the spread of HIV infection. Patient can still get infections and infect other individuals. Therefore avoid sexual contact sharing of blood products ,needles, razors and use effective barier methods of contraceptive like latex-condom
  • HIV virus can transmit infection to the newborn baby via breast milk. Hence breast feeding should not be done.
  • HIV can pass to the unborn baby if the mother is not treated adequately during pregnancy. Therefore consult your doctor regularly and take medication as prescribed to prevent transmission.
  • Efavirenz decreases the effectiveness of birth control pills. Always discuss with your doctor regarding other non hormonal contraceptive methods.
  • Avoid high fat meal when on Efavirenz medication as it increases the level of efavirenz and its risk of side effects.
  • Always visit your doctor regularly for thorough check up and laboratory test to monitor your condition and look for possible side effects of medication.

It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information.

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: April 04, 2012