How to use
Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz) is taken orally with a full glass of water, usual once a day before bed time. Taking this medication at bed times may lessen certain side effects, such as mood or behavior changes. Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz) should be taken on an empty stomach. Taking this medication with food may increase the risk of side effects. Make sure you take this medication at approximately the same time every day at evenly spaced intervals, this will ensure the amount of medication in your body remains at a constant level. Follow the directions of your doctor exactly, even if they differ from the recommended dosage.
Take Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz) regularly and make sure you renew your prescription on time. Do not change your dosages or medication schedule without consulting your doctor first. It is recommended that anyone who suffers from HIV or AIDS remains under strict observation of a doctor.
Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz) should not be used as the only treatment against HIV or AIDS as this may make the virus resistant against its active components. You should always take this medication in combination with other anti-HIV or –AIDS medicines as prescribed by your doctor.
Possible symptoms of a Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz) overdose include:
- Lack of balance or coordination
- Severe mood or behavior changes
- Thoughts of suicide
If you think you have taken too much of this medication, you should contact your local poison control center or emergency medical services immediately.
You should take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. If it is, then simply skip the missed dose and take the next regularly scheduled one. Do not attempt to double up on this medication to make up for a missed dose.
When taking Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz), you should go for regular check-ups and medical tests to chart your progress and make sure you are not suffering from any unwanted side effects. In general, any patient who suffers from HIV or AIDS should be under regular supervision of a doctor.
Do not share this medication with others as they may have a condition that is not effectively treated by Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz).
If you are required to undergo a drug test while taking this medication, it may falsely appear positive. Make sure to inform the laboratory that you are taking Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz) before providing a urine sample.
Store Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz) at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), away from heat and moisture. KEEP THIS AND ALL OTHER MEDICATION OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.
The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed that the taking of this medication is safe, appropriate or effective for you.
Before taking Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz), you should inform your doctor of your medical history, especially if it includes:
- Psychological conditions (such as depression, thoughts of suicide, psychosis)
- Liver problems (such as hepatitis B or C, cirrhosis)
- Drug, substance or alcohol abuse
- High cholesterol or triglyceride levels
If you suffer or have suffered from any of the above conditions, you may not be able to take this medication or your doctor may have to prescribe a dosage adjustment.
Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz) may make you dizzy or drowsy. It is recommended not to take this medication while driving or using heavy machinery, until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
To decrease the risk of infecting other people with the HIV-virus, you should always use an effective barrier method during sexual activity, such as a condom and spermicide.
In 2005, Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz) was reclassified from Pregnancy Category C to Category D by the FDA. This means that this medication could cause birth defects in an unborn child. Pregnancy should be avoided while taking Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz) and if you are pregnant before using this medication or fall pregnant during treatment, you should inform your doctor immediately. Your physician will way up the risks and benefits of this medication before deciding whether or not to go ahead with the treatment.
It is not yet know whether Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz) is excreted into breast milk. When taking this medication, you should consult your doctor before breast feeding, as the HIV-virus could infect a nursing infant through breastmilk.
Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz) decreases the effectiveness of the birth control pill. Therefore, an extra barrier method (such as a condom) should be used during the treatment and for 3 months thereafter.
There are many other medicines that interact with Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz), or vice versa. Before starting treatment with this medication, you should inform your doctor of all other prescription and non-prescription medication you use, including:
- Other products that contain Efavirenz
- Certain seizure medications (such as Carbamazepine, Phenobarbital or Phenytoin)
- Rifamycins (such as rifampin)
- St. John's wort
- Certain medication against anxiety or sleeping problems (such as Alprazolam, Midazolam, Triazolam, Diazepam or Zolpidem)
- Azole antifungals (such as Itraconazole, Ketoconazole or Voriconazole)
- Calcium channel blockers (such as Diltiazem or Verapamil)
- Ergot drugs (such as Ergotamine)
- Macrolide antibiotics (such as Clarithromycin)
- Some cholesterol-lowering statins (such as Atorvastatin, Pravastatin and Simvastatin)
- Blood thinners (such as Warfarin)
- Some other drugs to treat HIV infection (including protease inhibitors such as Saquinavir, Lopinavir and Ritonavir)
- Certain birth control products
- Muscle relaxants
- Narcotic pain relievers (such as Codeine)
The interaction of Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz) with some of the above medications could cause serious side effects and may in some cases even be fatal.
The list above is incomplete and there are many other drugs that could harmfully interact with Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz). Always tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications that you use. This might include vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and even drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor about it first.
While taking Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz), the following common side effects may occur:
- Mild nausea
- Stomach pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Blurred vision
- Headache, dizziness, tired feeling
- Trouble concentrating
- Problems with balance or coordination
- Muscle or joint pain
- Sleep problems (insomnia), unusual dreams
- Changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in the arms, legs, face, neck, breasts and waist)
Notify your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following more serious side effects:
- Sore throat
- Severe blistering, peeling and red skin rash
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Dark urine
- Clay-colored stools
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Body aches
- Flu symptoms
- Any other signs of new infection
Seek emergency medical attention if you notice any of the following signs of an allergic reaction to Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz):
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat
Occasionally, Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz) may cause serious psychiatric side effects, such as changes in mood or behaviour. These symptoms occur mostly in patients with a history of psychiatric conditions and they may improve the longer you take the medication.
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects, even if you already had them before starting treatment with Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz):
- Severe depression
- Suicidal thoughts
- Extreme fear
- Unusual behavior
These are not all possible side effects associated with Generic Sustiva (Efavirenz). Notify your doctor straightaway if you experience any other side effects than the ones mentioned above, especially if they are bothersome.