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Nevirapine (Viramune) Uses, Side Effects and Dosage

Nevirapine (Viramune) Uses, Side Effects and Dosage

What is Nevirapine (Viramune)?

Nevirapine is a drug used to treat human immune deficiency (HIV) infection in adults, in combination with other antiretroviral agents. It is used to block the replication of the virus and thus preventing the virus from continuing on its course of infection. This product is used for treating HIV-1 virus. The manufacturer of this product is Micro Labs Ltd. The Nevirapine brand name is Viramune.

What is this medication used for?

Nevirapine (generic name) is used to treat HIV-1 infection by blocking the replicative ability of the virus. Patients considering embarking on a treatment regime that includes nevirapine must take into account that the drug can potentially cause fatal liver and skin damage, especially in people with high CD4+ cell counts.

How does this medication work?

Nevirapine belongs to the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) drug class, which works by binding and blocking. As a result, polymerase activities are affected. This causes a disruption of the enzyme’s catalytic site, preventing the replication of the virus.

How to take Viramune

Nevirapine may be taken with or without food and should always be taken in combination with other antiretroviral medicines. More than one form of Viramune should not be taken at the same time. Extended-release tablets should be taken whole. They should not be chewed, crushed, or divided. If a missed dose occurs, a double dose should not be taken. During the first 18 weeks of treatment and at baseline, clinical and laboratory monitoring should occur. 

Nevirapine side effects

Warning are issued for this product. Fatal and non-fatal hepatotoxicity has been reported in patients taking nevirapine. Fatal and non-fatal skin reactions have also been reported.

Common side effects

  • Rash

Serious side effects

  • Immune Reconstitution Syndrome
  • Changes in body fat
  • Severe liver problems

Dosage

Nevirapine comes in three different forms: tablets, oral suspension, and extended-release tablets. This product is indicated for adults and pediatric patients 15 days and older.

The recommended dose for Viramune is one 200mg tablet daily for the first 14 days, followed by one 200mg tablet twice daily, in combination with other antiretroviral agents. The total daily dose should not exceed 400mg for any patient.

A 14-day lead in period should be followed since it has been shown to decrease the frequency of rash. If a rash occurs during the 14-day lead-in period, the dose should not be increased until the rash has resolved. The lead-in dosing regimen should not continue beyond 28 days. If dosing is interrupted for greater than 7 days, a 14-day lead-in dosing should be restarted.

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