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Nelfinavir mesylate oral
NELFINAVIR TABLETS - ORAL

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

NELFINAVIR TABLETS - ORAL

(nell-FIN-uh-veer)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Viracept

Uses

This medication belongs to a class of drugs called protease inhibitors and is used, in combination with other drugs, to treat HIV infection.

How To Use

Take exactly as directed with a meal or light snack. It is critical to take this medication every day exactly as prescribed. Do not interrupt treatment nor take more than prescribed by your doctor. Tablets may be swallowed whole, crushed and mixed with food, or dissolved in water. Once mixed with food or dissolved in water, use the entire contents immediately. Take exactly as directed.

Side Effects

The majority of side effects are mild. Diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, dizziness or gas might occur. If these continue or are bothersome, notify your doctor. Unlikely but report: persistent sore throat, rash, yellowing of the eyes or skin, vision problems, unusual fatigue, increased urination or thirst. Changes in body fat may occur while you are taking this medication (e.g., increased fat in the upper back and stomach areas, decreased fat in the arms and legs). The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss the risks and benefits of therapy with your doctor, as well as the possible role of exercise to reduce this side effect. Very unlikely but report immediately any allergic reaction while taking this medication. Symptoms include: difficulty breathing, itching, fever. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: liver disease, allergies (especially drug allergies), blood disorders (hemophilia), diabetes. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before taking this medication. It is not known whether this drug is excreted into human milk. HIV-infected mothers are advised to avoid breast-feeding in order to protect the infant from becoming infected with HIV. Caution is advised if this drug is used in children under 2 years of age.

Drug Interactions

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: amiodarone, cisapride, midazolam, triazolam, pimozide, ergot derivatives (e.g., ergotamine, dihydroergotamine), rifampin, quinidine, terfenadine, astemizole, eletriptan, "statin" drugs (e.g., lovastatin, simvastatin). If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting nelfinavir. Tell your doctor of all nonprescription and prescription medication you may take, especially of: rifabutin, carbamazepine, garlic supplements, caspofungin, sildenafil, delavirdine, nevirapine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, drugs which suppress the immune system (e.g., cyclosporine, sirolimus, tacrolimus), methadone, azithromycin, other protease inhibitors (e.g., indinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir), St John's wort. This drug may interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills. Discuss using other methods of birth control with your doctor. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.

Notes

This medication does not cure HIV infection. Patients treated with nelfinavir may continue to acquire "opportunistic" infections associated with HIV. This medication also does not prevent transmission of HIV to others through sexual contact or blood. Do not share this medication with others.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is within 2 hours of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. It is important not to miss doses of this drug.

Storage

Store this medication exactly as directed on the packaging.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).