Nevirapine is used together with other medicines to treat Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection which can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
This medicine is not a cure for HIV infection. It only helps to keep the virus in check and can help improve the quality of life.
Take Nevirapine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Nevirapine is available as a tablet, extended-release tablet, or as an oral suspension.
If you are taking the tablet, swallow it whole with a glass of water.
If you are taking the extended-release type of tablet (usually labelled as "ER"), swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew or crush the tablet.
If you are taking an oral suspension, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure your dose.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your condition and your response to the medication.
Nevirapine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
If you have stopped taking this medicine for more than 7 days, DO NOT restart Nevirapine without first consulting your doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not take Nevirapine if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine or any of its ingredients.
Alert your doctor if you have severe liver disease as Nevirapine may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Nevirapine with St John's wort.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- history of liver disease, including hepatitis B and/or C infection
- kidney disease or undergoing dialysis treatment
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant.
It is best that you do not breastfeed as HIV passes into the breast milk. Avoid breastfeeding in order to reduce the risk of passing HIV to your baby. It is recommended to give your baby commercial infant formula provided that you have access to clean water and facilities.
Nevirapine is not a cure for HIV. It only helps to slow down the development of HIV infection.
This medicine does not reduce your risk of passing HIV infection to others through sexual contact or through contamination with infected blood. Ensure that you use proper precautions to avoid spreading HIV infection to others.
Both this medicine and HIV may weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to infections. Avoid crowded places or those who are sick to minimise the risk of catching an infection. While undergoing treatment, you may develop other infections or experience other health problems. Always keep your doctor updated on your condition.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. You may need to have routine blood tests (e.g. liver and kidney function test, cholesterol levels, amount of HIV in a blood sample) while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Nevirapine may cause any of the following side effects: rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, tiredness, fever, headache, and muscle pain.
If you develop rashes, breathlessness, swollen mouth or eyes, stop taking Nevirapine and inform your doctor quickly. These could be signs of an allergic reaction.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by a fever
- signs of liver problems e.g. yellowing of the skin or eyes, abdominal pain, dark coloured urine, tiredness, swelling in the legs and ankles
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines for HIV infection e.g. efavirenz, atazanavir
- medicines for Hepatitis C infection e.g. boceprevir, telaprevir
- certain antibiotics e.g. clarithromycin
- medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. fluconazole, itraconazole
- medicines used in the treatment of opiate addiction e.g. methadone
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Nevirapine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol and St John's wort.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
The oral suspension should be used within 6 months after opening.