MedlinePlus

Nevirapine

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IMPORTANT WARNING
Nevirapine can cause severe, life-threatening liver damage, skin reactions, and allergic reactions. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease, especially hepatitis B or C. Tell your doctor if you have a rash or other skin condition before you start taking nevirapine. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop taking nevirapine and call your doctor immediately: rash, especially if it is severe or comes along with any of the other symptoms on this list; excessive tiredness; lack of energy or general weakness; nausea; vomiting; loss of appetite; dark (tea colored) urine; pale stools; yellowing of the skin or eyes; pain in the upper right part of the stomach; fever;sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection; flu-like symptoms; muscle or joint aches; blisters; mouth sores; red or swollen eyes; hives; itching; swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs; hoarseness; or difficulty breathing or swallowing. [More...]
Why is this medication prescribed?
Nevirapine is used along with other medications to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Nevirapine is in a class of medications called non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). It works by decreasing the amount of HIV in the blood. Although nevirapine does not cure HIV, it may decrease your chance of developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and HIV-related illnesses such as serious infections or cancer. Taking these medications along with practicing safer sex and making other life-style changes may decrease the risk of transmitting (spreading) the HIV virus to other people.

How should this medicine be used?
Nevirapine comes as a tablet and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food once a day for 2 weeks and twice a day after the first 2 weeks. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take nevirapine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Swallow nevirapine with liquids such as water, milk, or soda.

Shake the liquid gently before each use to mix the medication evenly. Use an oral dosing cup or dosing syringe to measure your dose. It is best to use a syringe, especially if your dose is less than 5 mL (1 teaspoon). If you use a dosing cup, first drink all of the medication that you measured in the dosing cup. Then fill the dosing cup with water and drink the water to be sure that you get your full dose.

Nevirapine may control HIV but will not cure it. Continue to take nevirapine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking nevirapine or any of the other medications that you are taking to treat HIV or AIDS without talking to your doctor.Your doctor will probably tell you to stop taking your medications in a certain order. If you miss doses or stop taking nevirapine, your condition may become more difficult to treat.

If you do not take nevirapine for 7 days or longer, do not start taking it again without talking to your doctor. Your doctor will start you on a low dose of nevirapine, and increase your dose after 2 weeks.

Other uses for this medicine
Nevirapine is also sometimes used to prevent unborn babies whose mothers have HIV or AIDS from becoming infected with HIV during birth.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking nevirapine,
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?
Nevirapine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if either of these symptoms is severe or does not go away: Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the symptoms listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:
What other information should I know?
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

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Last Revised - 10/15/2012
© 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc.
ASHP
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