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Viramune is an antiviral medicine used in combination with other antiviral medicines to treat patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Viramune contains the active ingredient nevirapine. Nevirapine is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) that helps to decrease the amount of HIV in the body so the immune system can work better.
Viramune is also indicated (in several countries) for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 in pregnant women who are infected with the virus. However, it does not cure or prevent HIV-1 infection. Continue taking Viramune (nevirapine) and other prescribed medications exactly as directed by their healthcare provider.
Use and Dosage
When starting treatment with Nevirapine, take one tablet by mouth with or without food daily for the first 14 days as directed by your doctor. After the first 14 days, the recommended dosage is one tablet twice daily or as prescribed by your doctor. In case of liver problems or skin/allergic reactions, seek medical attention at once and refrain from increasing the dosage to twice daily.
The amount of Nevirapine you should take depends on your medical condition and response to treatment. Dosage in children is also based on body size.
Do not take a once-daily dose for more than 28 days and consult your doctor before resuming treatment after a break of more than 7 days, except for the serious reactions mentioned in the Warning section. Your doctor should determine if restarting the medication with a once-daily dose for the first 14 days is appropriate to reduce the risk of serious side effects.
Follow your doctor's instructions and take Nevirapine exactly as prescribed. Skipping doses, increasing your dose, or taking it more often than prescribed, or stopping treatment abruptly without approval from your doctor can increase the amount of the virus in your system, make the infection more difficult to treat or cause adverse effects.
For optimal results, take Nevirapine at regular, evenly spaced intervals and try to take it at the same time every day.
Common Side Effects of Viramune (Nevirapine):
- Changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist)
- Muscle pain
- Stomach pain
Serious Side Effects of Viramune (Nevirapine):
- Any signs of a new infection
- Blistering skin rash
- Burning in your eyes
- Chest pain
- Clay-colored stools
- Cold sores
- Dark urine
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry cough
- Facial swelling
- Flu symptoms
- Impotence and
- Joint or muscle pain
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Loss of interest in sex
- Menstrual changes
- Mouth sores
- Night sweats
- Pain or burning when you urinate
- Prickly feeling
- Problems with balance or eye movement
- Rapid heart rate
- Red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling
- Severe lower back pain
- Severe tingling or numbness
- Shortness of breath
- Skin pain
- Sore throat
- Sores on your genital or anal area
- Stomach pain
- Swelling in your legs or feet
- Swollen glands
- Trouble speaking or swallowing
- Unexplained muscle pain or weakness
- Upper stomach pain
- Weight loss
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
- Serious eye symptoms such as sudden vision loss, blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights
- Serious heart symptoms such as fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeats; fluttering in your chest; shortness of breath; and sudden dizziness, lightheadedness, or passing out
- Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, arm or leg weakness, trouble walking, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, very stiff muscles, high fever, profuse sweating, or tremors.
Forms and Strength
Viramune (Nevirapine) is available in the following forms and strength:
- 200 mg
- Viramune can cause severe, life-threatening liver problems, particularly in people who have a higher risk of liver disease, such as women and people with hepatitis B or C.
- Viramune may interact with other medicines and supplements, so patients should inform their healthcare provider about all the medicines and supplements they are taking before starting treatment with Viramune.
- Viramune can decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives, so women using hormonal birth control should use an alternative or additional method of contraception while taking Viramune.
- Patients should not stop taking Viramune without consulting their healthcare provider, as this may lead to the development of resistant strains of HIV.
- Patients with a history of hepatitis or severe liver disease should be carefully monitored while taking Viramune.
- Patients may experience a hypersensitivity reaction to Viramune, which can cause fever, rash, and other symptoms, and can be life-threatening in some cases.
- Viramune can cause changes in fat distribution in the body, including increased fat in the upper back and neck ("buffalo hump"), and loss of fat from the arms, legs, and face.
- Viramune can cause allergic reactions, including liver damage and inflammation of the lungs, which can be fatal in some cases.
- Viramune may cause changes in blood sugar levels, which can be especially concerning for people with diabetes.
- Viramune is not recommended for use during pregnancy unless the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks.
- Viramune may cause dizziness and can impair the ability to perform tasks that require alertness, such as driving or operating machinery.
- Patients should not breastfeed while taking Viramune, as the medicine can pass into breast milk and potentially harm the infant.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does it take for Viramune to start working?
Viramune can start working within a few weeks, but it typically takes several months to achieve full effectiveness. Continue taking the medication as prescribed, even if you start to feel better.
Can Viramune cause drug interactions with herbal supplements?
Yes, Viramune can interact with herbal supplements. Tell your doctor about all supplements you are taking, as well as any other medications.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Viramune?
If you miss a dose of Viramune, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Can Viramune be taken with food?
Yes, Viramune can be taken with or without food. However, if you experience stomach upset, taking it with food may help.
It's important to purchase Viramune from verified Canadian pharmacy.