Drug Class: What is Viramune and why is it prescribed?
Drug Mechanism: How does Viramune work?
Dosage: How should you take Viramune?
Possible food and drug interactions when taking Viramune
Special information on Viramune
Viramune side effects
|Drug Class: What is Viramune and why is it prescribed?|
|Viramune is prescribed for advanced cases of HIV. HIV--the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS--undermines the immune system over a period of years, eventually leaving the body defenseless against infection. Viramune is generally prescribed only after the immune system has declined and infections have begun to appear. It is always taken with at least one other HIV medication such as Retrovir or Videx. If taken alone, it can cause the virus to become resistant. Even if used properly, it|
|Drug Mechanism: How does Viramune work?|
During infection with HIV, the HIV virus multiplies within the body s cells. The newly-formed viruses then are released from the cells and spread throughout the body where they infect other cells. In this manner, the infection spreads to new, uninfected cells that the body is continually producing, and HIV infection is perpetuated. When producing new viruses, the HIV virus must manufacture new DNA for each virus. Reverse transcriptase is the enzyme that the virus uses to form this new DNA. Viramune (nevirapine) directly inhibits
|Dosage: How should you take Viramune?|
| Be sure to take Viramune every day, exactly as prescribed. Increase the dosage only when directed. To avoid development of resistance, be careful to take your other HIV drugs as well.
If you are using the oral suspension, shake it gently before each dose. Give it to the child with an oral dosing syringe or dosing cup. After each Viramune dose, rinse the cup with water and give the rinse to the child as well.
If you miss a Viramune dose:
|Possible food and drug interactions when taking Viramune|
| Viramune may interfere with the Pill and other hormonal contraceptives. Do not use this form of contraception during Viramune therapy.
If Viramune is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Viramune with the following:
|Special information on Viramune|
| Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding:
The effects of Viramune during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, notify your doctor immediately.
Avoid breastfeeding. HIV can be passed to a nursing infant through breast milk.
Viramune has been known to cause serious--even fatal--liver damage, especially during the first 12 to 16 weeks of therapy. People with hepatitis B or C and a CD4+ cell count above 350 are more likely to develop this problem. Women are at greater
|Viramune side effects|
| Side effects of Viramune cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue using Viramune.
More common side effects of Viramune may include:
Less common side effects of Viramune may include:
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