Intelence: Side Effects, Dosage, Information

Written by Rachel Nall, RN, BSN | Published on October 3, 2014
Medically Reviewed by Susan J. Bliss, RPh, MBA on October 3, 2014

What Is Intelence?

Brand Name: Intelence
Generic Name: Etravirine

Intelence is a medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat HIV in adults and children ages 6 and older. Intelence is always prescribed in combination with other HIV medications. Intelence is prescribed to people who have previously taken other HIV medications and have virus that is resistant to treatment.    

Read the FDA description of Intelence.

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What Does Intelence Do?

Intelence belongs to a class of medications known as non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). The medication keeps HIV from replicating, thus slowing the disease’s progression. Intelence is not a cure for HIV.

What Are the Typical Doses?

The adult dose of Intelence is 200 milligrams (mg) taken twice a day after a meal and with a full glass of water. Don’t take the medication on an empty stomach or chew the tablets.  Patients who cannot swallow the tablets can dissolve each tablet in a teaspoon of water and then further dilute the liquid with more water, milk, or orange juice. Intelence should not be taken with grapefruit juice or warm or carbonated beverages as it may reduce its effectiveness. The dose for children ages 6 to 18 is based on body weight and should not exceed the adult dose. 

This information is a summary. Before starting this medication, discuss questions with your healthcare provider and make sure you understand dosage instructions.

What Should I Tell My Doctor Before Starting Intelence?

Tell your doctor if you:

  • have an allergy to Intelence or other medications
  • are breastfeeding or are planning on breastfeeding
  • are pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant
  • have a history of liver disease, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C

What Medications May Interact with Intelence?

Always tell your physician about any prescription medications or herbal remedies you are taking. Many drugs can adversely interact with Intelence.  Some of them include:

  • antiarrhythmic medications for the heart, including digoxin (Lanoxin), amiodarone (Cordarone), bepridil (Vascor), disopyramide (Norpace), flecainide (Tambocor), lidocaine (systemic), mexiletine (Mexitil), propafenone (Rythmol, Rythmol SR), and quinidine
  • anticonvulsant medications, including carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital, and phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • antidepressants, such as citalopram
  • antifungals, including fluconazole (Diflucan), voriconazole (Vfend), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral, Kuric), and posaconazole (LiverTox)
  • anti-infective medications, such as clarithromycin (Biaxin, Biaxin XL) or erythromycin, may be less effective
  • antimalarials, such as artemether/lumefantrine (Coartem, Riamet)
  • antimycobacterials, including rifabutin (Mycobutin)
  • antiretroviral medications, including tipranavir/ritonavir (Aptivus/Norvir), fosamprenavir/ritonavir (Lexiva or Telzir), atazanavir/ritonavir (Reyataz)
  • antiviral medications known as non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), including efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin), nevirapine (Viramune, Viramune XR), delavirdine (Rescriptor) or rilpivirine (Edurant)
  • benzodiazepines, such as diazepam (Valium)
  • CCR5 antagonists, including maraviroc (Selzentry) and maraviroc/darunavir/ritonavir
  • corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone
  • hepatitis C antivirals, such as telaprevir (Incivek)
  • HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, including atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pitavastatin (Livalo), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor), and simvastatin (Zocor)
  • narcotic analgesics and/or treatments for opioid dependence, including buprenorphine (Subutex), buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone), or methadone (Symoron or Amidone)
  • phosphodiesterase Type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors, including sildenafil (Viagra or Revatio), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra)
  • platelet aggregation inhibitors, including clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • St. John’s wort

Possible Side Effects of Intelence

Possible Adverse and Emergency Side Effects

The following are severe and emergent side effects of these medications. Report to your medical provider immediately if you experience the following:

  • a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include sudden facial swelling, fever, difficulty breathing, trouble swallowing, hives in the mouthyellowing of the skin, stomach pain, or dark-colored urine.
  • a severe skin rash, such as blistering or ulcerations associated with Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis. A skin rash occurs in up to 10 percent of patients, tends to occur in the second week of treatment, and is more common in women. A mild rash tends to resolve within another week. Contact your physician if you experience a severe rash. 

Possible Nonemergency Side Effects

The following side effects may occur but do not usually represent an emergency. Discuss with your doctor if they continue or are bothersome:

  • changes in the distribution of body fat, such as an increasing amount of fat on the neck
  • diarrhea
  • tingling or numbness in the hands or feet (peripheral neuropathy)

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor or healthcare provider for advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where Should I Keep Intelence?

Intelence should be stored at room temperature (77 degrees Fahrenheit/25 degrees Celsius), and may be briefly stored between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees and 30 degrees Celsius).  Don’t remove the desiccant or drying agent packets from the bottle. These packets will protect the medication from moisture.

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.

Important FDA Warnings


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