Drugs A - Z
Nelfinavir Mesylate Oral tablet
Generic Name: nelfinavir
Brand Names: Viracept
What is this medicine?NELFINAVIR (nel FIN a veer) is an antiretroviral medicine. It is used with other medicines to treat HIV. This medicine is not a cure for HIV. It will not stop the spread of HIV to others.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- liver disease
- an unusual or allergic reaction to nelfinavir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine with food. If you cannot swallow the tablets you can dissolve them in water. Put the tablets in a small amount of water. Stir until the tablets dissolve and drink all of the solution immediately. Rinse the glass and drink the rinse to get the full dose. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. For your anti-HIV therapy to work as well as possible, take each dose exactly as prescribed. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine even if you feel better. Skipping doses may make the HIV virus resistant to this medicine and other medicines. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 2 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- medicines for headaches like dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine
- red yeast rice
- St. John's wort
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- birth control pills or patch
- medicines for cholesterol like atorvastatin, fluvastatin, rosuvastin
- medicines for erectile dysfunction like sildenafil
- medicines for seizures
- other medicines for HIV
What should I watch for while using this medicine?Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Discuss any new symptoms with your doctor. You will need to have important blood work done while on this medicine.
HIV is spread to others through sexual or blood contact. Talk to your doctor about how to stop the spread of HIV.
Birth control pills may not work properly while you are taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor about using an extra method of birth control. Women who can still have children must use a reliable form of barrier contraception, like a condom or diaphragm.
This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.
This medicine contains a chemical that may increase your risk of cancer. Pregnant women and children may need to use a different HIV medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing difficulty
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- increased hunger or thirst
- increased urination
- nausea, vomiting
- skin rash
- stomach upset, gas
- unusually weak or tired
- weight gain around waist, back, or thinning of face, arms, legs
Where should I keep my medicine?Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.