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Nelfinavir mesylate oral
NELFINAVIR ORAL POWDER

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 ORAL POWDER

(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. The powder may be mixed with a small amount of water, milk, formula, soy formula, soy milk or diet supplement. Once mixed, drink the entire mixture to receive the full dose. Mixture with acidic food or juice (e.g., orange juice, apple juice or apple sauce) is not recommended since a bitter taste may result. Use the powder mixture immediately after preparation. Otherwise, store the mixture in the refrigerator and use within 6 hours. Do not heat the mixed dose once it has been prepared. Note: Do not mix with water in the original nelfinavir container. It is critical to take this medication every day exactly as prescribed. Do not interrupt treatment unless directed to do so by your doctor. Do not take more than prescribed.

Side Effects

The majority of side effects were mild. Diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, dizziness or gas might occur. If these continue or are bothersome, notify your doctor. Unlikely, but report any of the following effects: persistent sore throat or fever, rash, yellowing of the eyes or skin, vision problems, increased urination or thirst, unusual fatigue. Very unlikely but report immediately any allergic reaction while taking this medication. Symptoms include: difficulty breathing, itching, fever, swelling. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Before taking this drug, tell your doctor if you have: liver disease, any allergies (especially drug allergies), blood disorders (hemophilia), phenylketonuria, 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. Patients taking birth control pills should use a different or additional method of birth control during treatment with nelfinavir. 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: 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, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Once mixed, use nelfinavir powder immediately. Otherwise, store the powder mixture in the refrigerator and use within 6 hours.

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).