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Viramune

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Viramune (Nevirapine) is used in the treatment of infection with the HIV virus (the virus that causes AIDS).


Drug Name

Viramune (Nevirapine)

Drug Uses

This medication is used in the treatment of infection with the HIV virus (the virus that causes AIDS). It is used in combination with other HIV medications in selected patients. No cure exists for HIV infection, and the illnesses associated with your disease (infections, etc.) may continue. Because HIV can quickly become resistant to this medication if used alone, viramune must be used with at least 1 other anti-HIV medication. Your doctor may change your treatment plan if this medication stops working well.

How Taken

Take by mouth as directed. The usual dose is one 200 mg tablet daily for the first 14 days, then followed by one 200 mg tablet twice a day. Viramune is taken with at least one other medication (antiretroviral) for HIV. It is important to follow the dosing instructions carefully in order to minimize serious side effects, such as rash. If a rash develops in the first two weeks, the viramune dose is not increased until the rash is gone. If treatment is stopped for more than 7 days, then re-treatment should begin as directed by your doctor, usually with one 200 mg tablet daily for 14 days, then one 200 mg tablet twice a day. Read the Patient Information Leaflet available from your pharmacist. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Drug Class and Mechanism

Viramune is an oral medication that is used for the treatment of infections with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is similar to efavirenz (Sustiva) and delavirdine (Rescriptor). Viramune is in a class of drugs called reverse transcriptase inhibitors which includes zalcitabine (Hivid), zidovudine (Retrovir), didanosine (Videx), and lamivudine (Epivir). 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 directly inhibits the activity of reverse transcriptase and blocks the production of DNA and new viruses. Unlike zidovudine, nevirapine does not need to beconverted to an active form and it does not compete with the compound (thymidine triphosphate) that is required by HIV virus to make new DNA. Viramune does not kill existing HIV virus and it is not a cure for HIV.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is within 2 hours of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. It is important not to miss doses of this drug.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 to 30 degrees C) away from moisture and light as directed. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep in a tightly closed bottle.