Generic name: efavirenz
Classification: Protease Inhibitor (anit-viral)
Sustiva (efavirenz) is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.
Sustiva is used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Efavirenz is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.
Sustiva may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Sustiva may cause serious psychiatric symptoms including confusion, severe depression, suicidal thoughts, aggression, extreme fear, hallucinations, or unusual behavior. Contact your doctor at once if you have any of these side effects, even if you have had them before.
Do not use Sustiva without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use two forms of birth control, including a barrier form (such as a condom or diaphragm with spermicide gel) while you are taking Sustiva, and for at least 12 weeks after your treatment ends. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
Do not take Sustiva with cisapride (Propulsid), pimozide (Orap), midazolam (Versed), triazolam (Halcion), or ergot medicines such as dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45), ergonovine (Ergotrate), ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot, Wigraine), or methylergonovine (Methergine).
These drugs can cause life-threatening side effects if you use them while you are taking Sustiva.
There are many other medicines that can interact with Sustiva, or make it less effective. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Taking Sustiva will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Talk with your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.
Do not use Sustiva if you are allergic to efavirenz, or if you are using any of the following drugs:
- cisapride (Propulsid);
- midazolam (Versed) or triazolam (Halcion);
- pimozide (Orap); or
- ergot medicine such as ergotamine (Ergomar, Ergostat, Cafergot, Ercaf, Wigraine), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal Nasal Spray), ergonovine (Ergotrate), or methylergonovine (Methergine).
Using any of these medicines while you are taking Sustiva can cause serious medical problems or death.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need an Sustiva dose adjustment or special tests:
- liver disease (including hepatitis B or C);
- high cholesterol or triglycerides; or
- if you have ever taken delavirdine (Rescriptor) or nevirapine (Viramune) and they were not effective in treating your condition.
FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use Sustiva if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Use two forms of birth control, including a barrier form (such as a condom or diaphragm with spermicide gel) while you are taking Sustiva, and for at least 12 weeks after your treatment ends. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. HIV can be passed to the baby if the mother is not properly treated during pregnancy. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection while you are pregnant.