Generic Name: etravirine, Oral tablet

INTELENCE

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  • INTELENCE
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for etravirine

Oral tablet
1

You may be prescribed Intelence if you’ve already been treated for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and are resistant to other drugs of the same drug class.

2

The usual adult dose is 200 mg taken twice a day after meals. Your doctor will decide the best dose for you.

3

Serious side effects include a serious rash or symptoms of drug hypersensitivity, including hives, welts, red patches on your skin, shortness of breath, itching, and wheezing. If these happen suddenly or are severe, see a doctor right away.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Severe skin reactions

Severe, potentially life-threatening skin reactions have been reported in people taking Intelence. The skin reaction can cause raised red welts or large patches of skin that peel away, causing bleeding or exposed muscle. If a severe rash develops, get immediate medical attention.

Immune reconstitution syndrome

In this condition, your improved immune system causes past infections to return. Examples include fungal infections, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. Your doctor may need to treat the old infection if this happens.

Allergy and hypersensitivity

This drug may cause a severe allergic or drug hypersensitivity reaction. Symptoms could include:

  • sudden facial swelling
  • fever
  • difficulty breathing
  • trouble swallowing
  • hives in the mouth

If you experience these symptoms, call 9-1-1 or see a doctor right away.

Drug Features

Intelence is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

Intelence may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs.

Why It's Used

Intelence is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). It’s approved for treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in adults and children ages 6 and older who have already been treated for HIV and who have HIV that is resistant to other NNRTIs.

More Details

How It Works

Intelence belongs to a class of drugs called non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

More Details

Why It's Used

Intelence is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). It’s approved for treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in adults and children ages 6 and older who have already been treated for HIV and who have HIV that is resistant to other NNRTIs.

Intelence is used when the HIV virus becomes resistant to other NNRTI drugs. Your doctor may add another NNRTI to Intelence to make sure that the combination is effective.

How It Works

Intelence belongs to a class of drugs called non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

NNRTIs block an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. HIV uses this enzyme to make copies of itself. Blocking the enzyme helps to prevent the virus from replicating and spreading in your body.

SECTION 2 of 4

etravirine Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with Intelence include:

  • nausea

  • diarrhea

  • changes in body fat, including a build up of fat in the back of your neck

  • increased cholesterol levels

  • rash

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • severe allergic or drug hypersensitivity reaction. Symptoms may include:

    • sudden facial swelling
    • fever
    • difficulty breathing
    • trouble swallowing
    • hives in your mouth
    • yellowing of your skin
    • stomach pain
    • dark-colored urine
  • severe or sudden rash. Symptoms may include:

    • raised red welts
    • redness
    • peeling skin
    • swelling
  • signs of immune reconstitution syndrome, including symptoms of past infections. In this condition, your improved immune system causes past infections to return. Examples include fungal infections, pneumonia, and tuberculosis.

  • peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms include tingling or numbness in your hands or feet.

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Intelence doesn’t cause drowsiness.

According to a clinical study cited in the FDA’s prescribing information, a skin rash occurred in 10% of patients. The rash tended to occur in the second week of treatment and was more common in women. If you have a sudden and severe rash that comes with welts, redness, and swelling, call 9-1-1 or go to an emergency room right away.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

etravirine May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Intelence can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Heart drugs

These include drugs that regulate heart rhythm. Examples are:

  • digoxin (Lanoxin)
  • amiodarone (Cordarone)
  • bepridil (Vascor)
  • disopyramide (Norpace)
  • flecainide (Tambocor)
  • lidocaine (systemic)
  • mexiletine (Mexitil)
  • propafenone (Rythmol, Rythmol SR)
  • quinidine

Epilepsy drugs

These include:

  • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • phenobarbital
  • phenytoin (Dilantin)

Antidepressants

These include:

  • citalopram

Antifungal drugs

These include:

  • fluconazole (Diflucan)
  • voriconazole (Vfend)
  • itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral, Kuric)
  • posaconazole (LiverTox)

Antibiotics and other drugs to treat infections

These include:

  • clarithromycin (Biaxin, Biaxin XL)
  • erythromycin
  • artemether/lumefantrine (Coartem, for malaria)
  • rifabutin (Mycobutin)

Anxiety drugs

These include:

  • diazepam (Valium)

Cholesterol-lowering drugs

These include:

  • atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • fluvastatin (Lescol) 
  • lovastatin (Mevacor)
  • pitavastatin (Livalo)
  • pravastatin (Pravachol)
  • rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • simvastatin (Zocor)

Drugs that prevent blood clots

These include:

  • platelet aggregation inhibitors, including clopidogrel (Plavix)

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drugs

These include:

  • tipranavir/ritonavir (Aptivus/Norvir)
  • fosamprenavir/ritonavir (Lexiva or Telzir)
  • atazanavir/ritonavir (Reyataz)
  • efavirenz (Sustiva)
  • maraviroc (Selzentry)
  • maraviroc/darunavir/ritonavir
  • nevirapine (Viramune, Viramune XR)
  • delavirdine (Rescriptor)
  • rilpivirine (Edurant)

Erectile dysfunction drugs

These include:

  • sildenafil (Viagra or Revatio)
  • tadalafil (Cialis)
  • vardenafil (Levitra)

Hepatitis drugs

These include:

  • telaprevir (Incivek)

Pain drugs

These include:

  • buprenorphine (Subutex)
  • buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone)
  • methadone (Symoron or Amidone)

Steroids

These include:

  • dexamethasone

Herbs
  • St. John's wort

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

Pregnant women

Intelence is a pregnancy category B drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies of the drug in pregnant animals have not shown risk to the fetus.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in pregnant women to show the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

The Department of Health and Human Services states there isn’t enough safety data to recommend Intelence for pregnant women who have never been treated for HIV.

If you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking Intelence.

Women who are nursing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that women with HIV shouldn’t breastfeed, because HIV may be passed to a baby.

In addition, it isn’t known if Intelence passes through breast milk. If it does, the baby could have side effects from the drug.

For Children

Intelence is used to treat children ages 6 and older. There is currently no safety information for younger children because the drug hasn’t been tested in children under 6.

Allergies

If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Intelence in the past, you shouldn’t take it again. 

If you experience wheezing, hives, or breathing problems, you may have an allergy to the drug. Stop taking it and go to an emergency room or call 9-1-1. 

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take etravirine (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

Brand: Intelence

Form: Oral Tablet
Strengths: 25 mg, 100 mg, and 200 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18-64 years)

Take 200 mg (either as one 200 mg tablet or two 100 mg tablets) twice per day.

Child Dosage (ages 6-17 years)

Your doctor will provide a dose based on your child’s weight. The dose shouldn’t be higher than the adult dose.

Child Dosage (ages 0-5 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied and shouldn’t be used in children under the age of 6 years.

Senior Dosage (ages 65 years and older)

There are no specific recommendations for senior dosing. Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of the drug to be higher than normal. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose or you may need a different schedule.

Special considerations

Pregnant Women: If you’re pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking Intelence. Some pregnant women take Intelence in combination with other antiretroviral drugs for HIV.

Liver Disease: If you have severe liver disease, your doctor may need to adjust your dose. If you have mild liver disease, you may be able to take a normal dose. Check with your doctor before taking Intelence if you’re not certain about your liver function.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Keeping HIV under control requires long-term treatment and long-term effort. There can be very serious health consequences if you don’t take this drug exactly how your doctor tells you.

If You Stop Taking It or Miss Doses

If you stop taking this medication or miss doses, your HIV can become worse. You may have many more serious infections and HIV-related problems.

If You Don’t Take It on Schedule

Taking your drug at the same time every day increases your ability to keep the virus under control. If you don’t, you risk worsened infection.

What To Do if I Miss a Dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it's just a few hours until your next dose, wait to take a single dose at the usual time.

Take just one dose at a time. Never try to catch up by taking two tablets at once. This could result in toxic side effects.

How Can I Tell if the Drug is Working?

To see how well your treatment is working, your doctor will check your:

  • virus count. A virus count measures the number of copies of the HIV virus in your body.
  • CD4 count. A CD4 count measures the amount of CD4 cells in your body. CD4 cells are white blood cells that fight infection. An increased CD4 is a sign that your HIV treatment is working.

Intelence is a long-term drug treatment.

Always take Intelence after a meal

Food increases your body’s ability to absorb the drug.

Don’t take Intelence with grapefruit juice or soda. They could interfere with your absorption of the drug.

If you can’t swallow the tablet, you can crush it or dissolve it in water

Add the tablet to a teaspoon (about 5 mL) of water in a glass and stir until it dissolves and looks milky. You can add more water, milk, or orange juice after the tablet dissolves. Take the dose right away. Fill the glass with more water and swallow that too. This will help to make sure you get the whole dose.

Don’t take Intelence with grapefruit juice or soda. They could interfere with your absorption of the drug.

Store at room temperature: 68–77°F (20–25°C)

You can keep the drug for a short amount of time in temperatures as low as 59°F (15°C) and as high as 86°F (30°C). Keep it away from moisture, heat, and light sources.

Note: Be careful of moist environments, including bathrooms. To keep drugs away from moisture, store them somewhere other than your bathroom and any other damp location.

Clinical Monitoring

While you’re taking Intelence, your doctor will monitor your health with:

  • occasional blood tests for liver function
  • CD4 count measurements. CD4 cells are white blood cells that fight infection.
  • other health exams

Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead

If you only need a few tablets, you should call and ask if your pharmacy dispenses only a small number of tablets. Some pharmacies can't dispense only part of a bottle.

This drug is often available from specialty pharmacies through your insurance plan. These pharmacies operate like mail order pharmacies and ship the drug to you.

In larger cities, there will often be HIV pharmacies where you can have your prescriptions filled. Ask your doctor if there's an HIV pharmacy in your area.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for Intelence.

What does the pill look like?

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Are There Any Alternatives?

If your doctor prescribes Intelence for you, it’s usually because other drugs are no longer working to treat your HIV. If you have mild side effects from Intelence, work with your doctor to reduce side effects before you stop taking it. It may be difficult to find another drug to treat your HIV.


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Content developed in collaboration with Susan J. Bliss, RPh, MBA

Medically reviewed by Alan Carter, PharmD and Stacey Boudreaux, PharmD on February 20, 2015

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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