Etravirine (oral)

Overview

This medication is an effective treatment for an infection in patients who are currently receiving or have received treatment for HIV. Etravirine is typically used in tandem with other HIV medications, and while it does not fight against the spread of HIV or AIDS, it is effective in curtailing the many infections that can come with this disease.

This drug will not cure the HIV virus but it does help to slow the damage that occurs in the patient's immune system. It is especially effective in curtailing the spread of infection and other conditions that are associated with HIV and AIDS. This drug is not effective in preventing the spread of the virus from one person to another, safe sex practices must be employed while taking this medication.

As the amount of etravirine that is present in your system increases you will likely feel stronger, it is important that you continue taking the medication as directed. This medicine is one that is most effective when the amount of the drug present in the system is maintained in a level and consistent manner. Be sure to take this and all medications as directed by your doctor, and do not make any modifications without checking with them first.

Conditions Treated

  • -HIV-1

Type Of Medicine

  • Non-nucleoside (Anti-HIV)
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor
  • Antiretroviral

Side Effects

Many medications such as etravirine can cause unwanted side effects in addition to performing its prescribed duties. If you are taking this medication and develop a rash be sure to contact your doctor right away as this may be a sign of a more serious problem. Patients who experience one or more of the following symptoms may require additional medical attention.

If you experience any of the following side effects it is important to contact your physician as soon as possible:

More Likely:

  • Rash

Less Likely:

  • Blurred vision
  • Pounding in the ears
  • Weakness in the arms, hands, legs or feet
  • Dizziness
  • Slow or fast heartbeat
  • Nervousness
  • Unsteadiness or awkwardness
  • Headaches
  • Burning, numbness, tingling or painful sensations

Rare Occurrence:

  • Blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin
  • Red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • Trouble with breathing or swallowing
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands or feet
  • Hives
  • A sore throat
  • Irritation
  • Redness of the skin
  • Joint pain, stiffness or swelling
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Muscle pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Itching
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • Hoarseness
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Fever
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chills

As your body and system adjust to the presence of etravirine, you may experience some unwanted side effects that will likely dissipate on without further medical intervention. If you experience any of the following side effects and they linger for more than a few days or become worse, notify your prescribing physician for further guidance.

More Likely:

  • Nausea

Less Likely:

  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain

While this list is comprehensive, there may be certain side effects that do not appear above. If you experience any unwanted symptoms that become worrisome or are of concern talk with your prescribing doctor for advice.

Dosage

In the treatment of HIV, you will be prescribed a number of medications that you should continue to take along with the etravirine. Be sure to stick with the schedule provided to you by your prescribing physician and confer with them prior to making any changes to how and when you take your medication.

If at all possible, always take your dosage following a meal or after eating some amount of food.

It is important that this medication is swallowed whole. If you are unable to tolerate swallowing the entire tablet it is important that you do not chew it. You can dissolve the tablet in water, milk or juice. If you utilize this method be sure to drink all of the medication which may entail refilling your glass a second time.

Some patients report that they begin to feel better after a few doses of this medication, but it is important that etravirine is taken for the entire course of treatment prescribed by your doctor.

Do not miss any doses of this medicine as it is important to maintain a level amount of the drug in your bloodstream to ensure effectiveness. If you miss any doses follow the instructions provided below for such instances. Do not alter the way in which you take this medication without first consulting your doctor.

Dosages may differ from patient to patient due to the severity of your condition, your size or other health-related factors. The common doses outlined below are the typical amounts that are prescribed but if you have received differing directions from your doctor it is important that you take the medication as prescribed.

The usual tablet dose for patients that are taking etravirine for the treatment of HIV is:

200 milligrams taken two times each day for adults

100 milligrams - 200 milligrams taken two times per day is the typical dose for children aged six years or older, although the exact dose will be determined by the prescribing doctor based on the child's weight.

This medication is not recommended for use in children under the age of six.

In the case of a missed or forgotten dose, especially if six hours or more have elapsed after the missed dose, it is best to not take the medication and consult your doctor about what to do next.

Major drug interactions:

Many medications are not recommended for concurrent use as the potential harm can outweigh the benefits. If you are taking Dasabuvir for treatment, it is likely that your doctor will switch one of your medications in order to avoid you taking this drug at the same time that you are taking etravirine.

This list of drugs may cause increased complications when taken with etravirine, and your doctor may make adjustments to the way that you take one or both of the medicines. If you experience any serious side effects while taking any of these drugs concurrently with etravirine, notify your doctor as further adjustments may need to be made.

  • Amiodarone
  • Tacrolimus
  • Amprenavir
  • Sirolimus
  • Avanafil
  • Ritonavir
  • Bepridil
  • Rifapentine
  • Carbamazepine
  • Rifabutin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Propafenone
  • Clozapine
  • Piperaquine
  • Cyclosporine
  • Phenobarbital
  • Delavirdine
  • Nifedipine
  • Grazoprevir
  • Diazepam
  • Nelfinavir
  • Dolutegravir
  • Mexiletine
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Doxorubicin
  • Lumefantrine
  • Efavirenz
  • Ketoconazole
  • Enzalutamide
  • Ifosfamide
  • Fosamprenavir
  • Phenytoin
  • Indinavir
  • Flecainide
  • Lidocaine
  • Elbasvir
  • Maraviroc
  • Doxorubicin Hydrochloride Liposome
  • Naloxegol
  • Donepezil
  • Nevirapine
  • Disopyramide
  • Orlistat
  • Dexamethasone
  • Daclatasvir
  • Posaconazole
  • Cobicistat
  • Quinidine
  • Clopidogrel
  • Rifampin
  • Cilostazol
  • Rilpivirine
  • Bosutinib
  • Simeprevir
  • Axitinib
  • St. John's Wort
  • Atazanavir
  • Tipranavir
  • Artemether
  • Warfarin

There are other drugs whose concurrent use with etravirine may make it more likely to experience some side effects, or may decrease the effectiveness of one or both of the medications. If you are taking any of the medications that are listed below, your doctor may adjust the dosage or frequency with which you take these medications. If you are taking one of the listed medications at the same time as etravirine, be sure to notify your doctor of any significant side effects that may occur.

  • Atorvastatin
  • Raltegravir
  • Clobazam
  • Norgestrel
  • Fluconazole
  • Dienogest
  • Norethindrone
  • Drospirenone
  • Methadone
  • Estradiol Valerate
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate
  • Ethynodiol Diacetate
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Etonogestrel
  • Mestranol
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Norelgestromin
  • Estradiol Cypionate
  • Norgestimate
  • Digoxin
  • Ospemifene
  • Desogestrel
  • Sildenafil
  • Boceprevir
  • Voriconazole

If you use alcohol or tobacco products while taking etravirine be sure to advise your doctor prior to beginning your course of treatment with etravirine. Notify your prescribing physician of any changes to the medications that you are currently taking or if you alter the way in which you take them.

Your doctor should be aware of your full medical history including all medications that you take: prescription, non-prescription, herbal remedies, vitamin and mineral supplements.

If you suffer from any type of liver disease, especially Hepatitis C or B, it is important that you are aware of how your body is reacting to the etravirine as it may take your body longer to dispel the medication from your body.

Warnings

Your doctor will likely require regular check-ups while you are taking etravirine to monitor its effectiveness and to check for the presence of any unwanted side effects. At the start of your etravirine course of treatment, your immune system will likely be boosted and you will feel stronger. It is important that you continue to take etravirine even if you begin to feel better. It is often reported that patients who suffer from illnesses such as tuberculosis or pneumonia will experience new symptoms as their stronger system begins to fight against these ailments. Be sure that you notify your doctor of any changes to your overall health and wellbeing when they occur.

There are certain skin reactions that can happen to patients who are taking etravirine that can turn serious in nature. If you experience any of the following it is important that you stop taking this medication and notify the prescribing physician immediately:

  • Blistering
  • Peeling
  • Loosening of the skin
  • Itching
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Red skin lesions
  • Soreness of the throat
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or the area surrounding the mouth
  • White spots, sores or ulcers in the mouth

Etravirine has been reported to create an excessive amount of body fat in patients who are taking this medicine. Monitor your body for excess fat or changes in the shape of your body, especially in the area of your neck and upper back as well as your stomach and chest areas. Also be aware of a reduction in the amount of fat in the face, legs and arms.

Patients who are taking etravirine must continue to practice safe sex as this medicine will not prevent your partner from contracting HIV. It is also important that you avoid sharing needles with others.

St. John's Wort, the herbal supplement, has been reported to cause some negative reactions in patients who are taking etravirine. Be sure to notify your doctor of all medications that you are taking including all non-prescription as well as prescription drugs and all over the counter medications. This includes both herbal remedies as well as vitamin and mineral supplements.

Storage

It is always best to store all medications in the original packaging. Be sure to store the medication in a cool and dry place and avoid exposing etravirine to extreme heat and cold. Do not allow this medication to freeze. Keep this and all medication out of the reach of children.

If you have unused or expired medication make sure that you dispose of it properly. If you are unsure how what the appropriate disposal manner is for etravirine, consult with your pharmacist for guidance.

Summary

This medication is an effective treatment for an infection in patients who are currently receiving or have received treatment for HIV. Etravirine is typically used in tandem with other HIV medications, and while it does not fight against the spread of HIV or AIDS, it is effective in curtailing the many infections that can come with this disease.

There are certain medications that are contraindicated with the use of etravirine, and your prescribing physician should be informed of all medications that you are taking. This includes all prescription and non-prescription medications along with all herbal remedies as well as any vitamin or mineral supplements. Patients are cautioned against taking St. John's Wort while taking etravirine. Notify your doctor as soon as possible if there are any changes to the medications that you are currently taking, or if you alter the way in which you take them. Your physician should also be aware of any changes to your overall health and well-being.

Patients that experience a skin rash should stop taking this drug immediately and contact their doctor right away. This reaction is serious in nature and should not be ignored. If you experience any side effects while taking etravirine that lasts longer than a few days or becomes worse over time, be sure to notify your doctor right away as this may be a sign of a more serious problem.

As your immune system becomes stronger, you may experience new symptoms as your body begins to fight against these ailments in a way that had not previously occurred; as you begin to go through these side effects be sure to notify your doctor of what is occurring and how your body is reacting.

This drug will not cure the HIV virus but it does help to slow the damage that occurs in the patient's immune system. It is especially effective in curtailing the spread of infection and other conditions that are associated with HIV and AIDS. This drug is not effective in preventing the spread of the virus from one person to another, and safe sex practices must be employed while taking this medication. Take caution to not share needles with anyone, regardless of their HIV status, as this is an unsafe practice.

Do not stop taking this medication without first consulting with your doctor. Do not alter or change the way in which you take etravirine, notify your physician of any changes that occur in your overall health, other medications that you are taking, and if you experience any lingering or unwanted side effects that worsen.