How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Delavirdine belongs to the class of antiretroviral medications called non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). It is used in combination with other HIV medications to treat the infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is the virus responsible for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV infection destroys CD4 (T) cells, which are important to the immune system. The immune system helps fight infections.
Reverse transcriptase is a part of HIV required to infect cells and make more virus. Delavirdine prevents reverse transcriptase from working properly, thereby reducing the amount of virus that HIV is able to produce.
Delavirdine does not cure AIDS and does not prevent it from being spread to others. It does slow further growth or reproduction of HIV when used in combination with other medications, and it seems to slow down the destruction of the immune system. This may help to delay the development of problems that are related to AIDS or HIV disease.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Delavirdine is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada and is no longer available under any brand names. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended adult dose of delavirdine is 400 mg (4 tablets of 100 mg each) 3 times daily taken in combination with other anti-HIV (antiretroviral) medications. Delavirdine tablets can be dissolved in at least 90 mL (3 ounces) of water to make them easier to take. Allow the mixture of water and tablets to stand for a few minutes, then stir the mixture before drinking it. The glass should then be rinsed and the rinse swallowed to make sure that all the medication is taken.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
This medication may be taken with or without food.
If you have a condition known as achlorhydria (low stomach acid), you should take delavirdine with an acidic drink such as orange or cranberry juice. People who need antacids should take them at least one hour apart from their dose of delavirdine.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed. The effectiveness of the medication depends on there being the right amount of delavirdine in the bloodstream. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
If you forget many doses in a row, talk to your doctor about how to resume dosing.
Store this medication at room temperature and protect it from excessive light and moisture. Keep the bottle tightly closed. Keep this and all medication out of reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to delavirdine or any ingredients of this medication
- are taking any of the following medications:
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- trouble sleeping
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- abdominal pain
- changes in fat distribution (increased fat in the upper back and neck, breasts, and trunk; and loss of fat from the arms, legs, and face)
- flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, chills, sore throat, cough)
- signs of depression (e.g., poor concentration, changes in weight, changes in sleep, decreased interest in activities, thoughts of suicide)
- signs of infections (symptoms may include fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness)
- signs of liver problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools)
- skin rash (severe) with itching
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (swelling of face or throat, hives, or difficulty breathing)
- signs of a severe skin reaction (such as blistering, peeling, a rash covering a large area of the body, a rash that spreads quickly, or a rash combined with fever or discomfort)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Fat redistribution: Over time this medication may change how fat is distributed in your body and may change your body shape. You may notice increased fat in the upper back and neck, breast, around the back, chest, and stomach area; or loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face. The long-term effects of this are not known.
Liver function: Delavirdine is removed from the body by the liver and may cause liver problems. If you have liver disease or decreased liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, or abdominal pain, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Skin rash: A temporary skin rash may appear within 1 to 3 weeks after starting treatment with delavirdine. The rash usually goes away in about 3 to 14 days and can be treated without stopping treatment with delavirdine.
Stopping the medication: If you stop taking this medication, your HIV infection could get worse. Take the medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor, and do not stop taking the medication without checking with your doctor first.
Pregnancy: Studies demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of using this medication during pregnancy are not available. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefits outweigh risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if delavirdine passes into breast milk. However, since HIV can be transmitted by breast milk, women who have HIV should not breast-feed.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of delavirdine has not been established for children younger than 16 years old.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between delavirdine and any of the following:
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
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