It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits, to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. You should not become pregnant while you are taking this medicine and for 12 weeks after stopping it. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
This medicine may decrease the effects of some birth control including pills, injections, or implants. To avoid getting pregnant, use an additional form of birth control along with your pills, injections, or implant and for 12 weeks after stopping it. Other forms of birth control include a condom, a diaphragm, contraceptive foam, or jelly.
Do not use this medicine if you or your child are also using Atripla®. Atripla® also contains efavirenz.
Contact your doctor right away if you have any changes to your heart rhythm. You might feel dizzy or faint, or you might have a fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat. Make sure your doctor knows if you or anyone in your family has ever had a heart rhythm problem such as QT prolongation.
You might have mood or behavior changes with this medicine, such as feeling sad or hopeless, or getting upset easily. You could feel nervous or hostile, or have decreased awareness or responsiveness. Some people become violent and want to hurt themselves or others. Call your doctor right away if you or your child have any strange feelings, thoughts, or behaviors.
This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, lightheaded, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Even if taken at bedtime, it may cause some people to feel drowsy or less alert on arising. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
Check with your doctor before taking efavirenz with alcohol or other medicines that affect the central nervous system (CNS). The use of alcohol or other medicines that affect the CNS with efavirenz may worsen the side effects of this medicine, such as dizziness, poor concentration, drowsiness, unusual dreams, and trouble with sleeping. Some examples of medicines that affect the CNS are antihistamines or medicine for allergies or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicines, medicine for depression, medicine for anxiety, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, medicine for seizures or barbiturates, muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics.
Tell your doctor if you or your child get any type of skin rash, even a mild rash. Call your doctor right away if you or your child have a rash with blisters, a fever, mouth sores, red or irritated eyes, swelling of the face, muscle or joint pain, or muscle weakness.
Liver problems may occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child are having more than one of these symptoms: abdominal or stomach pain or tenderness, clay-colored stools, dark urine, a fever, a headache, itching, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, skin rash, swelling of the feet or lower legs, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin.
This medicine may increase the level of cholesterol and fats in your blood. If this condition occurs, your doctor may give you a medicine to lower the cholesterol and fats. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
Your immune system may get stronger when you start taking HIV medicines. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child 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.
Efavirenz may cause you to have excess body fat. Tell your doctor if you or your child notice changes in your body shape, including an increased amount of body fat in your neck or upper back, around your chest, or stomach area. You might also lose fat from your legs, arms, and face.
This medicine 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.
Tell the doctor in charge that you or your child are taking this medicine before you have any medical tests. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.
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.