Etravirine is used together with other medicines used for viral infections in the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection.
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. It does not prevent the spread of HIV to other people.
Take Etravirine 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.
This medicine should be taken after meals. Swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew or crush the tablet. If you have difficulty in swallowing, dispense tab thoroughly in a glass of water and drink immediately. Rinse the glass with water several times and drink each rinse completely.
Etravirine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue to take this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Do not skip any doses. You must complete the entire course of medicine. If you don't, the infection will not be properly controlled.
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.
Alert your doctor if you ever had an allergic reaction (breathlessness, rashes, swollen eyes) to similar antiviral medications.
Inform your doctor if you have liver disease.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Do not breastfeed while being treated with Etravirine. If you have HIV, 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.
This medicine is not a cure for HIV. It only helps to slow down the development of HIV infection.
Etravirine does not reduce your risk of passing the HIV infection to others through sexual contact or through contamination with infected blood. Ensure that you use proper precautions to avoid spreading HIV to others.
This medicine may weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick to minimise the risk of catching an infection. Always keep your doctor updated on your condition and go for your appointed check-ups.
While being treated with Etravirine, you will need to have regular blood tests. These blood tests help your doctor to monitor your condition and the health of your liver. Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these blood tests.
Etravirine may cause any of the following side effects: headache, nausea, rashes, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain and tiredness.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- weakness, numbness and pain in your hands and feet
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
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 to treat viral infections e.g. efavirenz, ritonavir
- medicines for heart diseases e.g. amiodarone, bepridil
- medicines for malaria e.g. artemether, lumefantrine
- medicines for epilepsy (seizures or fits) e.g. carbamazepine, phenytoin
- medicines for TB e.g. rifampicin, rifapentine
- clarithromycin (an antibiotic)
- warfarin (a blood-thinning medicine)
- St. John's wort (herbal medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Etravirine.
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 grapefruit juice.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.