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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Nelfinavir

IMPORTANT WARNING:

The effect of nelfinavir on the clinical progression of HIV infection, including the effect on the incidence of opportunistic infections or on overall survival, remains to be established.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Nelfinavir is used in combination with other drugs, such as zidovudine (AZT), to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections in patients with or without acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Nelfinavir is one of a class of drugs called protease (pro' tee ace) inhibitors, which slow the spread of HIV infection in the body.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Nelfinavir comes as a tablet and a powder to take by mouth. It usually is taken three times a day with a meal or light snack. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take nelfinavir exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Nelfinavir powder may be added to water, milk, formula, soy milk, or dietary supplements. Your prescription label tells you how many scoops of powder to add to the liquid. Drink the entire mixture to get the full dose.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking nelfinavir,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to nelfinavir or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone); astemizole (Hismanal); bromocriptine (Parlodel); cabergoline (Dostinex); carbamazepine (Tegretol); cisapride (Propulsid); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); didanosine (Videx); ergot alkaloids such as dihydroergotamine (Migranal), ergoloid mesylates (Germinal, Hydergine) or ergotamine (Cafergot, Cafetrate, Wigraine, others); indinavir (Crixivan); ketoconazole (Nizoral); medications for high cholesterol, especially lovastatin (Mevacor) or simvastatin (Zocor); midazolam (Versed); pergolide (Permax); phenobarbital; phenytoin (Dilantin); quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinalan, Quinidex); rifabutin (Mycobutin); rifampin (Rifadin); ritonavir (Norvir); saquinavir (Invirase); sildenafil (Viagra); tacrolimus (Prograf); terfenadine (Seldane); triazolam (Halcion); and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John's wort.
  • tell your doctor if you are taking birth control pills. Nelfinavir can decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. You should use another method of birth control while taking this medication.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking nelfinavir, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking nelfinavir.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from nelfinavir are not common, they can occur. Most symptoms are mild and improve with time. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach
  • gas
  • stomach pain
  • shift in body fat

If you experience either of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • rash
  • weakness

Nelfinavir may increase the sugar level in your blood. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • frequent urination
  • increased thirst
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • headache

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). After nelfinavir powder has been added to liquid, the mixture may be kept at room temperature for up to 6 hours. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Nelfinavir is not a cure and does not prevent the spread of HIV infection to other people, so use precautions to avoid the spread of this infection.

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to nelfinavir.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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