Sustiva (200 mg, 600 mg)

Sustiva is a brand name for the famous drug efavirenz(efv). It is NNRTI that is non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. It is used to treat HIV infections therefore comes in category of antiretroviral therapy(art). It also lists as an essential medicine in WHO model list of important medicines.

Mechanism of Action

HIV when enters in to a body it starts to transcribe viral RNA in to DNA and efavirenz stops this by targeting and stopping the reverse transcriptase enzyme. NNRTI binds to a different site than active site and away from the active site also known as NNRTI pocket. As efavirenz falls to the category of NNRTI therefore it works that way.

Uses of Sustiva

Mostly it is used to treat HIV infections in patients. Patients usually differ according to the base of treatment that starts by analysing viral load, CD4 count and history of diseases and patient’s output and preference. Efavirenz is never given alone and always given with combination of drugs .

Dosage and Administration

This medicine is available in capsule and tablet form. The usual dose of capsule is 50mg or 200mg. The tablet form contains dosage of 600mg of efavirenz. The tablet or capsule is taken orally with a glass of water on empty stomach. Food is not recommended as it may cause side-effects. If you can not swallow this medicine then mix it in small amounts in yogurt , soft food and applesauce. The amount should not exceed more than 2 spoon. Do not eat anything for at least 2 hours after taking this medicine. The dose is decided accordingly to the patient’s outcome to the medicine and bmi. Do not start or stop any medicine without consulting your doctor also does not change the dose of any medicine on your own.

Side-Effects of Sustiva

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Allergic reaction
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Swelling of face, lips and throat
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Tingling sensation
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Nightmares
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis
  • Dizziness
  • Aggression
  • Joint pain
  • Weight loss
  • Trouble breathing
  • Disturbed vision
  • Fever and chills
  • Slurred speech
  • Drooping face
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing of skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Stomach cramps

Precaution and Warning

Please tell your full past and personal history of any surgeries you had or any allergic reactions you have due to any medicine. Also if you have any liver, kidney, stomach or intestinal disease and for that you are already taking medicines please tell your doctor about it.

Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding

During pregnancy this medicine is not recommended as it has been reported that it may cause neural tube defect in infants exposed to it during first trimester.

It has been not advised to breast-feed infants as there are risk of postnatal HIV transmission.

Drug Interaction

Some drugs like azole antifungals, calcium channel blockers and macrolide antibiotics should never interact with efavirenz as it may change the course of the drug.