Etravirine (By mouth)


Etravirine (e-tra-VIR-een)
Used with other medicines to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Etravirine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but it may slow the worsening of the disease. This medicine is usually given to patients who have received HIV treatment in the past.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to etravirine.

How to Use This Medicine

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Etravirine is used with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Make sure you take all of your medicines as your doctor has prescribed. Do not change your dose or stop taking this medicine, even for a short time, unless your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine works best if there is a constant amount in the blood. To keep blood levels constant, take this medicine at the same time each day and do not miss any doses. Also, when your supply of this medicine is running low, contact your doctor or pharmacist ahead of time. Do not allow yourself to run out of this medicine.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
  • Swallow the tablet whole with a liquid such as water. Do not chew it.
  • If you cannot swallow the tablet whole, you may dissolve it in a glass with a small amount of water. Be sure to drink or swallow the entire mixture right away. Then refill your glass with water and drink it so that none of the medicine is left in the glass.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
If a dose is missed:
  • If you miss a dose or forget to use it, and it is more than 6 hours since your last dose, wait and take your next dose at the normal time. If you miss a dose or forget to use it, and it is within 6 hours since your last dose, take it as soon as you can and take your next dose at the normal time. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using other medicines to treat HIV or AIDS (such as atazanavir, darunavir, delavirdine, efavirenz, fosamprenavir, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, nevirapine, ritonavir, saquinavir, tipranavir, Aptivus®, Crixivan®, Fortovase®, Invirase®, Kaletra®, Lexiva®, Norvir®, Prezista®, Rescriptor®, Reyataz®, Stocrin®, Sustiva®, Telzir®, Viracept®, or Viramune®), medicine to prevent blood clots (such as clopidogrel, Plavix®), or St. John's wort.
  • Tell your doctor if are using medicine for a heart rhythm problem (such as amiodarone, bepridil, digoxin, disopyramide, flecainide, lidocaine, mexiletine, propafenone, quinidine, Cordarone®, Lanoxin®, Mexitil®, Norpace®, Quinidex®, Rythmol SR®, Tambocor?, Vascor®, or Xylocaine®), a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®), medicine to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, diazepam, phenobarbital, phenytoin, Carbatrol®, Dilantin®, Luminal®, Phenytek®, Tegretol®, or Valium®), medicine to treat a fungal infection (such as fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole, Diflucan®, Nizoral®, Noxafil®, Sporanox®, or Vfend®), or medicine to treat an infection (such as clarithromycin, rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine, Biaxin®, Mycobutin®, Priftin®, Rifadin®, Rifamate®, or Rifater®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone, Decadron®), medicine to lower cholesterol (such as atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin, Advicor®, Altoprev®, Crestor®, Lescol®, Lipitor®, Mevacor®, Vytorin®, or Zocor®), medicine that weakens the immune system (such as cyclosporine, sirolimus, tacrolimus, Neoral®, Prograf®, Rapamune®, or Sandimmune®), a pain medicine (such as methadone, Dolophine®), or medicine to treat impotence (such as sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, Cialis®, Levitra®, or Viagra®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, or if you have liver disease, which includes hepatitis B or C.
  • You should not breast feed if you have HIV or AIDS, because you may give the infection to your baby through your breast milk.
  • This medicine will not keep you from giving HIV to your partner during sex. Make sure you understand and practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Do not share needles with anyone.
  • When you start taking HIV medicines, your immune system may get stronger. If you have certain infections, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis, you may notice new symptoms when your body tries to fight them. If this occurs, be sure to tell your doctor.
  • Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have more than one of the following symptoms while taking this medicine: blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin; fever; chills; itching; joint or muscle pain; rash; red skin lesions; sore throat; sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips; or swelling of your hands, face, tongue, or throat.
  • This medicine may cause you to have excess body fat. Tell your doctor if you notice changes in your body shape, such as an increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck, or around the chest and stomach area; or a loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Slow, fast, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Sores, ulcers, or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain.
  • Gaining weight around your neck, upper back, breast, face, or waist.
  • Mild skin rash.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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