Sustiva (Efavirenz)

What is Sustiva?

Sustiva, also known as Efavirenz, belongs to a group of antiviral medications, preventing the cells of human immunodeficiency virus from multiplying and developing in the organism. Thus, the pharmaceutical is prescribed to treat HIV that can lead to acquired AIDS. Nevertheless, Sustiva is not a cure for AIDS or HIV. Additionally, the preparation can be taken for other purposes, not mentioned in the safety guide, though only following the doctor’s advice.


Recommendations for Use

It is essential to follow all the directions of your doctor and instructions mentioned on the safety label to turn the treatment course into a safe and beneficial experience. Never take Efavirenz in smaller or larger doses than necessary, since such changes can cause serious complications and side effects appearance. The preparations should be administered at bedtime, on an empty stomach. However, sometimes these settings may be diversified in certain cases, according to the individual peculiarities of the organism.

A patient may require frequent blood tests during Efavirenz treatment course. To benefit from the medication intake, use it regularly, following the recommended schedule. If you miss doses, you increase the risk of the virus becoming resistant to your antiviral drug. So, take a missed dose as soon as possible, and skip it only in exceptional cases. Never double or increase the next scheduled dose to avoid overdose and related side effects. HIV/AIDS treatment is not limited only with Sustiva, so you should combine it with other HIV medications, prescribed by your doctor.

Precautions and Contraindications

Since Sustiva is an effective pharmaceutical that severely affects the organism, one should consult a healthcare provider primarily to the beginning of the medication course. Provide your medical professional with detailed information concerning your health condition, other diseases and medications you are using to improve them. To make sure Sustiva will be safe and effective for you, inform the specialist about the following conditions:

• serious heart disorders;

• liver diseases;

• high cholesterol;

• convulsions or epilepsy;

• mental illnesses or psychic disorders, etc.

Do not take Sustiva in case you are allergic to Efavirenz or its other components, as well as to similar antiviral drugs. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should limit the medication intake, since it may harm the health of an unborn or nursing child. Tell your doctor if you use any birth control pills, and ask him/her to replace them with non-hormonal counterparts, as Sustiva can impair their effect.

Drug Interactions

According to the fact that Sustiva interacts with a great range of medications and such combinations can cause severe complications, one should provide a physician with a full list of medications he/she is currently taking. Pay exceptional attention to the following pharmaceuticals:

• cholesterol lowering drugs;

• antifungal treatments;

• blood pressure and heart medicines;

• immunosuppressants;

• hepatitis C preparations;

• other AIDS or HIV medications;

• seizure treatments, etc.

Side Effects

While Sustiva is reported to produce a powerful antiviral action, its misuse and overuse may lead to less positive effects. Wrong doses or violated intake rules can cause a number of severe complications, including:

• allergic reactions;

• seizures;

• confusion, depression, hallucinations, agitation, anxiety, etc.;

• nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, appetite loss, jaundice;

• sore throat, fever and others.

Seek emergency medical assistance if you have noticed any of these symptoms.