Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. Also, do not change the dose or stop taking this medicine without checking first with your doctor. 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.
This medicine comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions in the insert carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Keep taking efavirenz for the full time of treatment even if you begin to feel better. It is also important that you continue taking all other medicines for HIV infection your doctor has instructed you to take. Efavirenz will not work if it is taken alone. It must be taken with other HIV medicines.
This medicine works best when there is a constant amount in the blood. To help keep blood levels constant, do not miss any doses. Also, it is best to take the doses at evenly spaced times during the day. For example, if you or your child are taking one dose per day, try to take it at the same time each day. If you need help planning the best times to take your medicine, check with your doctor.
Efavirenz should be taken on an empty stomach because the amount of efavirenz absorbed into the body may be increased when taken with food, which might increase the chance of side effects.
Swallow the tablets whole with water. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
Take efavirenz at bedtime, especially during the first 2 to 4 weeks, to lessen central nervous system (CNS) side effects that may occur with this medicine. These effects usually lessen after you have been taking this medicine for awhile.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage forms (capsules or tablets):
- For treatment of HIV infection:
- Adults—600 milligrams (mg) once a day, taken with other medicines.
- Children 3 years of age and older (by weight)—
- 10 to 15 kilograms (22 to 33 pounds) of body weight: 200 mg once a day, taken with other medicines.
- 15 to 20 kilograms (33 to 44 pounds) of body weight: 250 mg once a day, taken with other medicines.
- 20 to 25 kilograms (44 to 55 pounds) of body weight: 300 mg once a day, taken with other medicines.
- 25 to 32.5 kilograms (55 to 71.5 pounds) of body weight: 350 mg once a day, taken with other medicines.
- 32.5 to 40 kilograms (71.5 to 88 pounds) of body weight: 400 mg once a day, taken with other medicines.
- 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of body weight or over: 600 mg once a day, taken with other medicines.
- Children up to 3 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For treatment of HIV infection:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.