Viracept

Generic Name: Nelfinavir mesylate

  • What is Viracept?

    Viracept is a protease inhibitor used in combination with other antiretroviral drugs in the treatment of people with HIV infection. It can be used for adults and for children 2 years and older.
  • What is the most important information I should know about Viracept?

    Viracept is not a cure for HIV infection or AIDS. People taking this medication may still develop opportunistic infections or other conditions associated with HIV infection. It does not reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others through sexual contact or blood contamination. Continue to practice safe sex and do not use or share dirty needles.
  • Who should not take Viracept?

    Do not take Viracept if you are taking certain medicines that are highly dependent on liver clearance, have an allergy to this medication, or if you have any known allergies to other medicines, foods, preservatives, or dyes. If you have phenylketonuria, the oral powder may not be suitable for you since it contains 11.2 mg of phenylalanine per gram of powder
  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Viracept?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Viracept. Also talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver or kidney disease, are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The recommended dose is 1250 milligrams (mg) (five 250-mg tablets or two 625-mg tablets) 2 times daily or 750 mg (three 250-mg tablets) 3 times daily with meals

    CHILDREN 2-13 years: The oral powder or 250 mg tablet dosage is 45 to 55 milligrams/kilogram (mg/kg) body weight 2 times daily or 25 to 35 mg/kg 3 times daily with meals. The maximum dose is 2500 mg per day.

  • How should I take Viracept?

    You should stay under the care of a healthcare professional when taking Viracept. Do not change your treatment or stop treatment without first talking with your healthcare provider. You should take it every day exactly as directed with meals.

    If you cannot swallow tablets, you may take Viracept oral powder or dissolve the tablets. Tablets can be dissolved in a small amount of water and mixed to form a cloudy liquid. It should be taken immediately, then rinse the glass with water and swallowed the remaining liquid to ensure the entire dose is consumed.

    The oral powder may be mixed with a small amount of water, milk, formula, soy formula, soy milk, dietary supplement, or dairy foods such as pudding or ice cream. Once mixed, the entire amount must be taken to obtain the full dose. If the mixture is not consumed immediately, store in the refrigerator. It expires 6 hours after reconstitution.

  • What should I avoid while taking Viracept?

    You should avoid having unprotected sex or sharing needles, razors, or toothbrushes as this drug does not reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others. Talk with your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission during sex, such as using a condom and spermicide.
  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Viracept?

    If Viracept is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining it with the following: amiodarone, carbamazepine, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, lovastatin, methylergonovine, midazolam, omeprazole, phenobarbital, pimozide, quinidine, rifampin, sildenafil, simvastatin, St. John's wort, tadalafil, triazolam, and vardenafil.
  • What are the possible side effects of Viracept?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: diarrhea, nausea, flatulence, redistribution of fat

  • Can I receive Viracept if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Viracept during pregnancy are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant. Because the virus can be passed to a baby through breast milk, breastfeeding is not recommended for mothers with HIV.
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Viracept?

    If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if you skip the dose entirely, do not double the next dose. If you forget a number of doses, talk to your healthcare provider about how you should continue taking your medicine.
  • How should I store Viracept?

    Store Viracept tablets at room temperature.