1 What is Viramune?

Brand: Viramune, Viramune OS, Viramune XR

Generic: Nevirapine

Viramune is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor used in combination with other drugs for the treatment of the infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus.

HIV is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome. This drug works by lowering the extent of HIV in the blood which will only keep HIV from reproducing and slow down the destruction of the immune system.

This may help delay the development of problems that usually result from AIDS or HIV disease. This drug will not prevent the transmission of HIV to other people. This drug requires a prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Viramune, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications.

Studies in children have not demonstrated any pediatric-specific problems that would limit the utility of nevirapine suspension or tablets while safety and efficacy have not been established in infants younger than 15 days of age.

Studies in children 6 to 17 years of age have not demonstrated any pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of nevirapine extended-release tablets. Use in children younger than 6 years of age is not recommended.

Studies in the elderly have not demonstrated any geriatric-specific problems that would limit the utility of nevirapine in the elderly. Adjustments the dose of the elderly may be required since they are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems.

Indications of harm to the fetus have not been reported in animal studies. Risks to fetuses have been demonstrated in studies of pregnant women. Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding. Discuss with your healthcare professional about the potential risks and benefits of taking this drug while breastfeeding.

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects.

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other drugs such as:

  • Atazanavir
  • Carbamazepine
  • Dasabuvir
  • Amprenavir
  • Apixaban
  • Artemether
  • Avanafil
  • Boceprevir
  • Bosutinib
  • Clozapine
  • Cobicistat
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Darunavir
  • Delavirdine
  • Dexamethasone
  • Dolutegravir
  • Donepezil
  • Doxorubicin
  • Doxorubicin Hydrochloride Liposome
  • Efavirenz
  • Eliglustat
  • Enzalutamide
  • Etravirine
  • Fluconazole
  • Fosamprenavir
  • Ifosfamide
  • Itraconazole
  • Ivabradine
  • Ketoconazole
  • Nifedipine
  • Olaparib
  • Palbociclib
  • Piperaquine
  • Quinine
  • Rifampin
  • Rifapentine
  • Rilpivirine
  • Simeprevir
  • St John's Wort
  • Tacrolimus
  • Telaprevir
  • Tolvaptan
  • Voriconazole
  • Amiodarone
  • Caspofungin
  • Cisapride
  • Clarithromycin
  • Clonazepam
  • Cyclosporine
  • Dalfopristin
  • Diltiazem
  • Disopyramide
  • Ergotamine
  • Ethosuximide
  • Fentanyl
  • Indinavir
  • Lopinavir
  • Methadone
  • Nelfinavir
  • Ospemifene
  • Quinupristin
  • Rifabutin
  • Saquinavir
  • Sirolimus
  • Verapamil
  • Warfarin

Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco. Inform your doctor if you have any other medical problems such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or Liver disease.

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Viramune requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. Contact your healthcare professional or pharmacist in advance if your supply of this drug is running low.

You can take this drug with or without food, and with water, milk, or soda. Shake the oral liquid gently before use. It is recommended to use an oral dosing syringe or dosing cup to measure the right dose.

Use the dosing syringe if you dose is less than 5 mL. The extended-release tablet must be swallowed whole. Crushing, breaking, or chewing it is not recommended. Take this drug for the full time of treatment to ensure complete drug therapy.

It is recommended to take this drug as part of a combination treatment. This drug works optimally when there is a constant amount in the blood. Taking the doses at evenly spaced times during the day is recommended. Try to take this drug at the same time each day if you are taking only one dose per day.

The doses of this drug should be spaced about 12 hours apart if you are taking two doses per day. Consult with your healthcare professional if you had stop taking this drug for more than 7 days. The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients.

The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed. The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug.

Adults with HIV are initially given one 200 milligrams ViramuneВ® immediate-release tablet once a day for 2 weeks. This is followed by one 400 mg ViramuneВ® XRВ® once a day, together with other HIV drugs.

The dose in children 6 to 17 years of age is based on body size and must be determined by your healthcare professional. The starting dose is 150 milligrams per square meter of ViramuneВ® oral suspension or tablets for the first 2 weeks.

This is followed by 200 to 400 mg of ViramuneВ® XRВ® once a day, together with other HIV drugs. Use in children younger than 6 years of age is not recommended.

Adults with HIV are given 200 milligrams of oral or suspension once a day for 2 weeks, followed by 200 mg two times per day, together with other drugs.

The dose in children and infants 15 days of age and older is based on body size and must be determined by your healthcare professional. Use and dose in infants younger than 15 days of age must be determined by your healthcare professional.

A missed dose should be taken as soon as possible. However, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule if it is almost time for your next dose.

Store the drug in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Viramune, there are some precautions you must take. Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the drug. Unwanted effects can be screened using blood tests.

Check with your healthcare professional immediately if you symptoms of a liver problem such as:

  • Abdominal pain or tenderness
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Dark urine
  • A fever
  • A headache
  • Itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin rash
  • Swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Yellow eyes or skin

Inform your healthcare professional if you get any type of skin rash, even a mild rash. Call your healthcare professional immediately if you or your child has a rash with blisters, a fever, mouth sores, red or irritated eyes, swelling of the face, muscle or joint pain, or muscle weakness.

This drug may augment your immune system which will start to fight infections that were hidden in your bodies such as pneumonia, herpes, or tuberculosis. Autoimmune disorders such as Graves' disease, polymyositis, and Guillain-Barr syndrome may also occur.

Excess body fat has associated with the use of this drug. Inform your healthcare professional if you notice changes in your body shape, including an increased amount of body fat in your neck or upper back, face, around your chest, or stomach area. You might also lose fat from your legs, arms, or face.

The effects of some birth control pills may be lessened by this drug. It is recommended to use an additional form of birth control such as a condom, a diaphragm, contraceptive foam or jelly along with your pills to prevent any chance of pregnancy.

The risk of transmitting the HIV infection to others through sexual contact or by contaminated blood cannot be reduced by this drug. It is recommended to practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Sharing needles with anyone should be avoided.

Consult with your healthcare professional before you take any other prescription or nonprescription drugs, and herbal or vitamin supplements.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Viramune. Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur.

Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as:

  • Black, tarry stools
  • Blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin
  • Chills
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Cough
  • Dark urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • General tiredness and weakness
  • Itching
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Light-colored stools
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Pale skin
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Red skin lesions
  • Often with a purple center
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rash
  • Sore throat
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • Troubled breathing with exertion
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • Yellow eyes and skin
  • Decreased appetite
  • Hives
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Pain, numbness, or tingling of the hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • Tingling, burning, or prickly sensations

Symptoms of overdose such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Decrease in weight
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • Headache
  • Pain in the ankles or knees
  • Painful, red lumps under the skin, mostly on the legs
  • Sensation of spinning, or trouble sleeping

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the drug, the side effects will slowly disappear. Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

If any of the following side effects persists or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional. Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.