Delavirdine

Delavirdine treats HIV infection. Do not miss any doses. Skipping doses can make it harder to treat HIV.

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Delavirdine Overview

Reviewed: January 2, 2013
Updated: 

Delavirdine is a prescription medication used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections. Delavirdine belongs to a group of drugs called non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI's), which help to block HIV reverse transcriptase, a substance the virus uses to make more copies of itself.

This medication comes in tablet form and is taken 3 times daily, with or without food.

Common side effects of delavirdine include rashes, headache, and nausea.

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Delavirdine Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Delavirdine

Delavirdine is a prescription medicine used in combination with other anti-HIV medicines to treat people with HIV infection.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Delavirdine Brand Names

Delavirdine may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Delavirdine Drug Class

Delavirdine is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Delavirdine

The most important common side effect seen in people taking delavirdine has been a skin rash.

  • The rash occurs mainly on the upper body and upper arms, and sometimes on the neck and face. The rash appears as a red area on the skin with slight bumps, and it can be itchy.
  • The rash tends to occur early, usually within 1 to 3 weeks after you start taking delavirdine, and it usually lasts less than 2 weeks. Watch your rash carefully and talk to your healthcare provider about how to treat it.
  • If the rash is going to be serious or severe (with fever, blistering, sores in the mouth, redness or swelling of the eyes, or muscle and joint aches), you and your healthcare provider will usually realize it during the first 3 days of the rash.
  • If you have symptoms of a severe rash, you should stop taking delavirdine and speak with your healthcare provider as soon possible. Be prepared to explain where the rash is, your temperature, and whether or not you have other symptoms.

Other side effects include headache, nausea, diarrhea, and tiredness. Of these, nausea was the most common.

Changes in body fat have been seen in some patients taking antiretroviral therapy. These changes may include increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck ("buffalo hump"), breast, and around the trunk. Loss of fat from the legs, arms and face may also happen. The cause and long-term health effects of these conditions are not known at this time.

Before you start using any medicine, talk with your healthcare provider about what to expect and discuss ways to reduce the side effects you may have.

This list of side effects is not complete. If you have questions about side effects, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. You should report any new or continuing symptoms to your healthcare provider right away. Your healthcare provider may be able to help you manage these side effects.

Delavirdine Interactions

Delavirdine may interact with other medicines, including those you take without a prescription.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you are taking certain drugs such as:

  • Versed (midazolam) 
  • Halcion (triazolam)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)  
  • certain medications used to treat migraines
  • Orap (pimozide) 
  • Rifampin 
  • Phenobarbital 
  • Dilantin (phenytoin) 
  • Tegretol (carbamazepine) 
  • St. John's wort
  • Cholesterol-lowering medicines such as Mevacor (lovastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), and Lescol (fluvastatin)

Medicines that require dosage adjustments:

It is possible that your healthcare provider may need to increase or decrease the dose of other medicines when you are taking delavirdine. Remember to tell your healthcare provider all the medicines you are taking or planning to take.

Before you take Viagra (sildenafil) with delavirdine, talk to your healthcare provider about problems these two medicines can cause when taken together. You may get increased side effects of Viagra, such as low blood pressure, vision changes, and penis erection lasting more than 4 hours. If an erection lasts longer than 4 hours, get medical help right away to avoid permanent damage to your penis. Your healthcare provider can explain these symptoms to you.

  • If you are taking both Videx (didanosine) and delavirdine: Take Videx (buffered tablets) 1 hour before or 1 hour after you take delavirdine. Taking them together causes lower amounts of delavirdine in the blood, making both medicines less effective.
  • Protease inhibitors: A number of healthy volunteers and HIV-infected patients were studied while taking delavirdine with one of these protease inhibitors: Crixivan (indinavir), Invirase and Fortovase (saquinavir), Norvir (ritonavir), or Viracept (nelfinavir). delavirdine was shown to increase the amount of these protease inhibitors in the blood. Delavirdine is expected to increase the amount of Agenerase (amprenavir) and Kaletra (lopinavir + ritonavir) in the blood. As a result, your healthcare provider may choose to lower the dose of one of these medicines or monitor certain lab tests if these protease inhibitors are taken in combination with delavirdine.
  • Antacids should be taken at least 1 hour before or 1 hour after you take delavirdine because they can slow the absorption of delavirdine.

Based on your history of taking other anti-HIV medicine, your healthcare provider will direct you on how to take delavirdine and other anti-HIV medicines. These drugs should be taken in a certain order or at specific times. This will depend on how many times a day each medicine should be taken. It will also depend on whether the medicines should be taken with or without food.

It is a good idea to keep a complete list of all the medicines that you take, including nonprescription medicines, herbal remedies and supplements and street drugs. Update this list when medicines are added or stopped. Give copies of this list to all of your healthcare providers every time you visit or fill a prescription.

Delavirdine Precautions

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop taking delavirdine and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • rash along with other symptoms such as fever, blistering, sores in the mouth, red or swollen eyes, or muscle or joint pain
  • hives
  • itching
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • hoarseness
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing

Delavirdine can interact with many medications. These interactions could cause serious side effects that could cause death. Before you take delavirdine, you must tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you are taking or are planning to take. These include other prescription and nonprescription medicines and herbal supplements.

Delavirdine can cause drowsiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how delavirdine affects you.

Do not take delavirdine if you:

  • are allergic to delavirdine or to any of its ingredients
  • if you are taking certain medicines (see "Drug Interactions")

Delavirdine Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of delavirdine, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before receiving delavirdine, tell your doctor if you:

  • have an allergy to delavirdine. Also tell your healthcare provider if you have any known allergies to other medicines, foods, preservatives, or dyes.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. The effects of delavirdine on pregnant women or their unborn babies are not known.
  • are breastfeeding, it is very important that you speak with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby. If your baby does not already have HIV, there is a chance that it can be transmitted through breastfeeding. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women with HIV do not breastfeed.
  • have liver or kidney disease. Delavirdine has not been studied in people with liver or kidney disease.

Before you take delavirdine, you must tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you are taking or are planning to take. These include other prescription and nonprescription medicines and herbal supplements.

  • Certain medical problems may affect the use of delavirdine. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider of any other medical problems you may have.

Delavirdine and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.

Delavirdine and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, it is very important that you speak with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby. If your baby does not already have HIV, there is a chance that it can be transmitted through breastfeeding. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women with HIV do not breastfeed.

Delavirdine Usage

  • You should stay under a healthcare provider's care when taking delavirdine. Do not change your treatment or stop treatment without first talking with your healthcare provider.
  • You must take delavirdine every day exactly as your healthcare provider prescribed it. Follow the directions from your healthcare provider, exactly as written on the label.
  • The usual dose of delavirdine is two 200 mg tablets three times a day or four 100 mg tablets three times a day, in combination with other anti-HIV medicines. Either way, your total daily dose of delavirdine remains the same.
  • You can take delavirdine with or without food.
  • If you have trouble swallowing tablets, the 100 mg delavirdine tablets may be dissolved in water. Place four tablets in at least 3 ounces of water and allow the tablets to sit in the water for a few minutes. Then, stir the water until the tablets have dissolved and drink the mixture right away. Add a little more water, swirl, and then drink the rest of the mixture to be sure that you get all the medicine. The 200 mg tablets must be swallowed whole. They cannot be dissolved in water.
  • Many people find it easier to take their delavirdine with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, since food does not interfere with delavirdine. It is a good idea to get into the habit of taking delavirdine on a regular schedule to make it easier to remember. Figure out things that happen every day at pill-taking time and take your tablets then. By taking your medicine along with activities you do every day, such as getting up in the morning, brushing your teeth, eating lunch, coming home from work in the evening, or watching a favorite TV show, you will find it easier to remember to take every dose.
  • When your delavirdine supply starts to run low, get more from your healthcare provider or pharmacy. This is very important because the amount of virus in your blood may increase if the medicine is stopped for even a short time. The virus may develop resistance to delavirdine and become harder to treat.
  • Only take medicine that has been prescribed specifically for you. Do not give delavirdine to others or take medicine prescribed for someone else.

If you forget to take a dose of delavirdine, take it as soon as possible. However, if you skip the dose entirely, do not double the next dose. If you forget a lot of doses, talk to your healthcare provider about how you should continue taking your medicine.

Delavirdine Dosage

The recommended dosage for delavirdine is 400 mg (four 100-mg or two 200-mg tablets) 3 times daily.

Delavirdine Overdose

If you take too much delavirdine call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • Keep delavirdine and all other medicines out of the reach of children. Keep the bottle closed and store at room temperature (between 68°F and 77°F) away from sources of moisture such as a sink or other damp place. Heat and moisture may reduce the effectiveness of delavirdine.
  • Do not keep medicine that is out of date or that you no longer need. Be sure that if you throw any medicine away, it is out of the reach of children.