Generic Name: enfuvirtide (en-FUE-vir-tide)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 25, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
- Powder for Solution
Therapeutic Class: Antiretroviral Agent
Pharmacologic Class: HIV Fusion Inhibitor
Uses for enfuvirtide
Enfuvirtide injection is used in combination with other antiviral medicines to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Enfuvirtide will not cure or prevent HIV infection or AIDS. It helps keep HIV from reproducing and appears to slow down the destruction of the immune system. This may help delay the development of problems usually result from AIDS or HIV disease. Enfuvirtide will not keep you from spreading HIV to other people. People who receive enfuvirtide may continue to have some of the problems usually related to AIDS or HIV disease.
Enfuvirtide is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using enfuvirtide
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For enfuvirtide, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to enfuvirtide or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of enfuvirtide injection in children 6 years of age and older and weighing 11 kilograms (kg) or more. Safety and efficacy have been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of enfuvirtide injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution in patients receiving enfuvirtide.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking enfuvirtide, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using enfuvirtide with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of enfuvirtide. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Bleeding disorder (eg, hemophilia) or
- Blood clotting problems—Use with caution. May increase bruising or bleeding after injection.
- Lung or breathing problems (eg, pneumonia), history of—Use with caution. May make this condition worse.
Proper use of enfuvirtide
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you enfuvirtide. It is given as a shot under your skin, usually in the stomach, upper arm, or thighs. You or your caregiver may be trained to prepare and inject enfuvirtide at home. Be sure that you understand how to use the medicine.
If you use enfuvirtide at home, you will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas. This will help prevent skin problems from the injections. Do not inject into skin areas near your elbow, knee, groin, lower or inner buttocks, into your navel (belly button), or into any skin areas where you have a mole, scar, bruise, tattoo, or burn.
Enfuvirtide comes with a patient information leaflet and patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Do not stop using enfuvirtide without checking first with your doctor. When your supply of enfuvirtide is running low, contact your doctor or pharmacist ahead of time. Do not allow yourself to run out of enfuvirtide.
Enfuvirtide comes as a powder that must be mixed with sterile water before using. Use the sterile water that came with your medicine to prepare it. Do not shake the medicine after adding the water. Gently tap the vial for 10 seconds and then roll it between your hands to avoid foaming. Wait for the powdered medicine to completely dissolve in the water before using it. This may take up to 45 minutes. Before using the medicine, make sure the solution is clear, colorless, has no bubbles or particles in it.
It is important to take enfuvirtide as part of a combination treatment. Be sure to take all the medicines your doctor has prescribed for you, including enfuvirtide.
Keep using enfuvirtide for the full time of treatment even if you begin to feel better. If you stop the medicine even briefly, the virus may become harder to treat.
The dose of enfuvirtide will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of enfuvirtide. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For injection dosage form (solution):
- For treatment of HIV infection:
- Adults—90 milligrams (mg) (1 milliliter [mL]) injected under the skin 2 times a day.
- Children 6 years of age and older—Dose is based on weight and must be determined by your doctor.
- Weighing 42.6 kilograms (kg) or more—90 milligrams (mg) (1 milliliter [mL]) injected under than skin 2 times a day.
- Weighing 38.1 to 42.5 kg—81 mg (0.9 mL) injected under than skin 2 times a day.
- Weighing 33.6 to 38.0 kg—72 mg (0.8 mL) injected under than skin 2 times a day.
- Weighing 29.1 to 33.5 kg—63 mg (0.7 mL) injected under than skin 2 times a day.
- Weighing 24.6 to 29.0 kg—54 mg (0.6 mL) injected under than skin 2 times a day.
- Weighing 20.1 to 24.5 kg—45 mg (0.5 mL) injected under than skin 2 times a day.
- Weighing 15.6 to 20.0 kg—36 mg (0.4 mL) injected under than skin 2 times a day.
- Weighing 11.0 to 15.5 kg—27 mg (0.3 mL) injected under than skin 2 times a day.
- Children younger than 6 years of age and weighing less than 11 kilograms (kg)—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For treatment of HIV infection:
If you miss a dose of enfuvirtide, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
After you mix the powder with the sterile water, you may use the mixture right away or store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Do not store the mixture in the syringe. If you use a mixture that has been kept in the refrigerator, allow it to reach room temperature before you inject it.
Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container where the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
Precautions while using enfuvirtide
It is very important that your doctor check you your child's progress at regular visits, especially during the first few weeks that you use enfuvirtide. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.
Enfuvirtide may cause serious allergic reactions, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing or swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after using enfuvirtide.
Enfuvirtide may increase the risk of having pneumonia. This is more likely to occur if you smoke or have a history of lung disease. Check with your doctor right away if you have chest pain or tightness, cough, fever, chills, or troubled breathing.
Enfuvirtide can cause reactions at the injection site. Almost all people get injection site reactions with enfuvirtide. These reactions hurt and itch, and they are usually mild to moderate but can occasionally be severe. These reactions generally happen within the first week of treatment and as you keep using enfuvirtide. If the injection site nodules drain pus or cause redness that spreads or streaks from the sites, or you are worried about the reaction you are having, call your doctor right away.
Some people who have used Biojector® 2000 to inject enfuvirtide have had shooting nerve pain and tingling lasting up to 6 months when injected close to large nerves or near joints, or had bleeding, bruising, or lumps. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this.
Your immune system may get stronger when you start using HIV medicines. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your health. Sometimes the immune system will start to fight infections that were hidden in your body, such as pneumonia, herpes, or tuberculosis. Autoimmune disorders (eg, Graves' disease, polymyositis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome) may also occur.
Enfuvirtide may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how enfuvirtide affects you.
Enfuvirtide does not decrease the risk of transmitting the HIV infection to others through sexual contact or by contaminated blood. Make sure you understand and practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Avoid sharing needles with anyone.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Enfuvirtide side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations or weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
- stuffy or runny nose
- tightness of the chest
- troubled breathing
- dark urine
- dry or itching eyes
- excessive tearing
- eye discharge
- fast heartbeat
- itching, pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, or warmth on the skin at the injection site
- loss of appetite
- lump or growth on the skin
- pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
- redness, pain, swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
- swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
- yellow eyes or skin
- Difficulty in swallowing
- skin itching, rash, or redness
- swelling of the face, throat, or tongue
Incidence not known
- Black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- blood in the urine or stools
- chest pain
- decreased frequency or amount of urine
- inability to move the arms and legs
- increased blood pressure
- increased thirst
- lower back or side pain
- painful or difficult urination
- pale skin
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- sore throat
- sudden numbness and weakness in the arms and legs
- swelling of the face, fingers, lower legs
- ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- weight gain
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Abnormal growth filled with fluid or semisolid material
- burning or stinging of the skin
- decreased appetite
- dry mouth
- feeling sad or empty
- hard lump
- lack or loss of strength
- large, flat, blue or purplish patches in the skin
- muscle pain
- painful cold sores or blisters on the lips, nose, eyes, or genitals
- small lumps under the skin
- trouble concentrating
- trouble sleeping
- unusually warm skin
- weight loss
- Bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
- burning, itching, and pain in hairy areas
- change in taste
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- joint pain
- pus at the hair root
- stomach pain
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about enfuvirtide
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 4 Reviews
- Drug class: miscellaneous antivirals
- Other brands
Related treatment guides
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.