Viracept

Generic Name: nelfinavir (nel FIN a veer)
Brand Names: Viracept

What is Viracept?

Viracept (nelfinavir) is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.

Viracept is used to treat HIV, which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Viracept is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.

Viracept may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not take Viracept if you are allergic to nelfinavir, or if you have moderate or severe liver disease.

Life-threatening side effects may occur if you take Viracept with alfuzosin (Uroxatral), amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev, Advicor), midazolam (Versed), quinidine (Quin-G), pimozide (Orap), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater), sildenafil (Revatio for pulmonary arterial hypertension), simvastatin (Zocor, Simcor, Vytorin, Juvisync), St. John's wort, triazolam (Halcion), or an ergot medicine such as Ergomar, Ergotrate, Cafergot, Wigraine, D.H.E. 45, Migranal, or Methergine.

Slideshow: 14 Essential Health Screenings That All Men Should Consider

Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Do not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take Viracept if you are allergic to nelfinavir, or if you have moderate or severe liver disease.

Life-threatening side effects may occur if you take Viracept with alfuzosin (Uroxatral), amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev, Advicor), midazolam (Versed), quinidine (Quin-G), pimozide (Orap), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater), sildenafil (Revatio for pulmonary arterial hypertension), simvastatin (Zocor, Simcor, Vytorin, Juvisync), St. John's wort, triazolam (Halcion), or an ergot medicine such as Ergomar, Ergotrate, Cafergot, Wigraine, D.H.E. 45, Migranal, or Methergine.

To make sure you can safely take Viracept, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • diabetes;

  • a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia; or

  • high cholesterol or triglycerides.

FDA pregnancy category B. Viracept is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby, but HIV can be passed to your baby if you are not properly treated during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of Viracept on the baby.

Viracept can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom or diaphragm with spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking Viracept. You should not breast-feed while you are using Viracept. Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed at all. Even if your baby is born without HIV, you may still pass the virus to the baby in your breast milk. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 2 years old.

How should I take Viracept?

Take Viracept exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Viracept works best if you take it with food.

Swallow the Viracept tablet whole.

If you cannot swallow a whole tablet, dissolve it in a small amount of water. Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.

Use Viracept regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

Store Viracept in the original container at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid?

If you also take didanosine, take it 1 hour before or 2 hours after you take Viracept.

Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Do not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

Viracept side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Viracept: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Viracept and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • signs of a new infection, such as fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;

  • high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss);

  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;

  • rapid heart rate, increased sweating, tremors in your hands, anxiety, feeling irritable, sleep problems (insomnia);

  • diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, menstrual changes, impotence, loss of interest in sex;

  • swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid);

  • muscle weakness, tired feeling, trouble speaking or swallowing, joint or muscle pain, feeling short of breath;

  • weakness or prickly feeling in your fingers or toes;

  • problems with walking, breathing, speech, swallowing, or eye movement; or

  • severe lower back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control.

Less serious Viracept side effects may include:

  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, gas;

  • mild skin rash; or

  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and trunk).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Viracept?

Many drugs can interact with Viracept. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • atorvastatin (Lipitor);

  • bosentan (Tracleer);

  • colchicine (Colcrys);

  • fluticasone (Advair, Flonase, Flovent);

  • itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral);

  • methadone (Dolophine, Methadose);

  • omeprazole (Prilosec);

  • phenytoin (Dilantin);

  • rifabutin (Mycobutin);

  • salmeterol (Advair, Serevent);

  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);

  • antidepressants such as trazodone (Desyrel) and others;

  • heart or blood pressure medications such as amlodipine (Norvasc, Caduet, Exforge, Lotrel, Tekamlo, Tribenzor, Twynsta, Amturnide), diltiazem (Tiazac, Cartia, Dilacor), felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat), or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan);

  • drugs that weaken the immune system, such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune), or tacrolimus (Prograf);

  • insulin or diabetes medication you take by mouth;

  • medicines to treat erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra);

  • other HIV or AIDS medications such as delavirdine (Rescriptor), indinavir (Crixivan), ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra), or saquinavir (Invirase); or

  • seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol) or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton).

This list is not complete and there are many other medicines that can interact with Viracept. 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. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Viracept.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 13.01. Revision Date: 2012-08-30, 3:43:27 PM.

Hide
(web1)