Sustiva (Efavirenz): Indications, Price, Side Effects
Sustiva is usually taken in combination with other medications to reduce the amount of the virus in the body. It is taken orally once a day at bedtime on an empty stomach.
Sustiva does not cure the viral infection, and it is not effective in preventing the spread of the virus to others.
Cost in Canada
First of all, price depends on what form of Sustiva you intend to buy. The brand drug tablets are usually more expensive compared to the capsules. But at the same time, the tablet dosage is greater.
For example, 90 capsules (50 mg) made in Canadian pharmacy drug will cost you around $170. 30 Canadian tablets are going to cost about $600. Generics will certainly be cheaper. 30 pills of Efavirenz cost about $250. Note that the prices vary in different pharmacies.
Read This Before You Start
The first thing you should do is inform your doctor about all health problems that are relevant to you. Here is a list of anything vital to consider when inquiring about Sustiva:
- An allergy to efavirenz;
- Clouding of consciousness (also knows as brain fog)
- Long-term QT syndrome (abnormal heart rhythm)
- Issues with the functioning of your liver
- Seizures, et cetera.
Even if you do not see anything that you currently experience on this list, your doctor should be made aware of any condition. Try to remember all conditions you have had in the past as well, it may change a doctor’s decision about the treatment.
What if you’re pregnant? Sustiva must not be used. This drug is likely to cause various serious defects in the unborn baby.
As for the period of breastfeeding, women with HIV or AIDS should not be breastfeeding their children in the first place. If they do, it is likely they will pass the virus onto their child.
There are various other factors you should keep in mind. Verify each step on the list below to consider other peculiarities:
- It is advisable to wait with pregnancy if you undergo treatment with Sustiva. Normally, three months of postponing the planned pregnancy will suffice.
- Sustiva decreases the productiveness of hormonal contraception (like vaginal rings, injections, and pills). Do not forget about this!
- Even if you use Sustiva, you still can pass HIV to others. That is why it is always important to practice safe sex to not cause more problems.
- Sustiva is a serious drug to deal with, and it is likely to cause some severe side effects in patients (there is always a chance of this and no certainty as to how exactly your body will respond to the treatment). Therefore, it is essential to take a look at the list of possible side effects (side effects are covered in the next section of the article).
- Patients whose therapy includes Zepatier must not use Sustiva.
You may be given some other tips by your doctor. Remember that consulting a therapist is the best way to make sure you do not put your health at great risk.
Side Effects of Sustiva
Do not let the side effects listed in this article scare you away from treatment. Your doctor will evaluate the personal use of the drug in your case, and if they make a decision to prescribe the drug, you are safe enough.
Side effects do not show up in everyone. This means you could be the lucky one, and your therapy will bring only a positive effect.
Well, here are the symptoms you may face when going through treatment:
- Skin reactions (rash, burning eyes, fever, and other stuff)
- Strong allergic reactions (throat or face swelling and hives)
- The trouble with your balance, speech, drowsiness, and dizziness
- Liver problems like nausea, dark urine, and jaundice
- Psychiatric issues (for instance, paranoia, feeling unusually sad, hallucinations, and so on);
- Inability to swallow or speak properly, weakness, night sweats, and menstrual changes (all of this can indicate that your immune system has undergone certain changes as a result of treatment with Sustiva);
- Sleep issues
In the case you observe any of these signs, you must call your doctor right away. Otherwise, you place your health at tremendous risk. If you cannot ask for help on your own, seek someone to ask for help on your behalf.
What To Know About The Rules?
There is an information leaflet you will get when purchasing a drug. However, you must take it with consideration of what your therapist has decided to prescribe. Medical professionals draw a certain conclusion as a result of a thorough medical check-up. That is why you must strictly follow all medical advice and instructions very carefully.
Remember that in most cases, doctors do not just stick to Sustiva and they often prescribe something else. If your doctor only prescribes Sustiva, do not hesitate to ask them about it.
Here are some basic rules of taking Sustiva:
- Never break Sustiva tablets, you must swallow them whole
- The pill should always be taken before eating
- Normally, a doctor will wish to consider the results of the treatment often. This means that you will have to go to checkups frequently.
As for the dosage, it is usually individual pills. Your doctor will decide which one is optimal for you. However, in the majority of cases, patients are advised to take 600 mg of Sustiva every day orally. Protease inhibitors must be added as a vital component of the treatment.
As is the case with most drugs, children will have to take a fraction of the dosage. It is based on weight. If a kid weighs under 5 kilos, 100 mg every day is going to be an okay dosage.
The drug ought to be stored at room temperature.