Viracept is a drug used, in combination with other medicines, to treat certain HIV-related infections.
HIV or human immunodeficiency virus is the virus that causes AIDS or acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
This drug does not cure or prevent HIV or AIDS but keeps the HIV virus from multiplying.
This drug also helps slow down immune system destruction and delay the development of HIV or AIDS-related diseases.
Moreover, taking this drug does not prevent you from spreading the virus to other people. Viracept is only available with a doctor’s prescription.
2 What to Know Before Using
Your doctor will inform you of what you need to know before using Viracept. The risks and benefits the medicine offer must be weighed.
Before using this Viracept, you and your doctor must consider the following:
Allergies: If you have any unusual reaction to any medicine, be sure to tell your doctor about it. Additionally, disclose other types of allergies - foods, preservatives, animals, or dyes, if there are any. Read the package ingredients carefully and make sure you are not allergic to any of its ingredients.
Pediatric: Studies show that using this drug in children does not cause pediatric-specific problems limiting the usefulness of this drug in children 2 years old and above. Nevertheless, safety and efficacy of the use of this drug in children younger than 2 years of age are yet to be established.
Geriatric: While there are no specific studies done in the elderly patients in using this drug, no geriatric-specific problems are reported yet.
Pregnancy: No adequate studies are done in pregnant women. However, studies done in animals show that using this drug is not harmful to the developing fetus.
Breastfeeding: While there are no adequate studies to determine infant risk concerning the use of this drug while breastfeeding, you have to weigh benefits against side effects and risks before using this drug.
Drug Interactions: Certain medicines have adverse effects when used together. Nevertheless, it is still possible to take other medicines when taking this drug. Make sure to inform your doctor about other drugs you are taking, so that alterations and precautions will be made if necessary.
Using this with certain medicines needs utmost caution because the combination may result in certain side effects. Before taking this drug, talk to your doctor about possible interactions if you are taking other medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, as well as vitamins and herbal supplements.
Other medical problems: Before taking this medicine, talk with your doctor about other medical problems that you are experiencing.
Taking this drug may not be advisable if you have certain health problems, especially:
To use Viracept properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Do not lessen or increase your dose. Do not stop intake without your doctor’s advice even if you feel better or your condition improves.
It is advisable to take nelfinavir with food. If you find it difficult to swallow a whole tablet, you may dissolve it in a little water. Drink all the mixture right away.
Refill the glass that you have used with water and drink it, to make sure you get all the dissolved medicine from the glass. If you are using the powder form, make sure to use the measuring scoop that comes with the medicine.
You may mix the powder with a little water, soy milk, milk, formula, or supplement drink. Do not mix nelfinavir with grapefruit juice, apple juice, orange juice, or apple sauce.
Consume mixed medicine immediately or you may store it for up to 6 hours in the fridge. Make sure to swallow all of the medicine mixtures.
Nelfinavir works best when the blood has a constant amount of it. To maximize its effect, make sure to take it at the given time and do not miss any dose.
Dosing: Every patient may have different dosage instructions as per the doctor’s advice. Do not change what your doctor has prescribed, even if it is different from the ones listed here or on the package.
In treating HIV infection in children 2-13 years old, it is advisable to use the oral powder form. The dose for this age group must be determined by the doctor based on the patient’s body weight.
The dose for children younger than 2 years old must be determined by the doctor. For adults and teens, the usual dose is 750 mg (in tablet form) to be taken 3 times a day.
Missed dose: Take the missed dose as soon as possible. In case it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one and follow your regular dosing schedule. Never take double doses.
Storage: Keep the medicine in an airtight container at normal room temperature. Keep it away from direct light, heat, and moisture. Do not let it freeze. Keep the medicine out of children’s reach.
Throw away any outdated medicine or medicine that are not in use. Do not remove the orally disintegrating tablet until it is time to take it.
4 Precautions to Take
Before using Viracept, there are some precautions you must take. Regular visits to the doctor are important, especially if you are going to use this medicine for a long time. This is to make sure the drug is working properly and to check your progress.
To check for unwanted effects, blood tests may be needed. Your doctor may give you a list of medicines that you should not take while taking Viracept. Do not take any other drugs unless advised by your doctor.
5 Potential Side Effects
As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Viracept.
While not all people taking this medicine may suffer from these side effects, you may need to call your doctor if any of these are present, especially if the side effects become bothersome.
Most of these side effects do not need medical attention and usually go away as the body adjusts to the effects of the drug. You may ask your doctor for ways to prevent or minimize the side effects of nelfinavir.
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