Nevirapine is used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Nevirapine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.
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Generic Viramune information
Viramune is often generically prescribed as nevirpine, and is commonly used in the treatment of HIV. Viramune is an antiviral that attempts to prohibit the HIV virus from reproducing in the body. Viramune is not a cure for HIV and it is still possible to spread the HIV virus to others despite treatment. Viramune is part of the family of drugs known as reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
A thorough medical history should be assessed prior to prescribing Viramune, as it is not appropriate for everyone. Patients with a medical history which includes liver disease or kidney disease may not eb able to take this medication or may require careful monitoring while undergoing therapy with Viramune, depending on the condition and the severity of the condition.
The American Food and Drug Administration has yet to determine whether or not this medication is harmful to an unborn baby, and has rated Viramune as a category C pregnancy risk. It is not yet known whether or not Viramune can pass through the mother’s breast milk, although breast feeding is not recommended for women who are HIV positive as it dramatically increases the risk of transmitting the HIV virus to an infant.
There is a risk of side effects associated with the use of Viramune, some of which can be quite severe. In some cases, severe and life threatening skin rashes have developed in some patients. Patients should be urged to seek immediate medical attention should they experience sores or lesions in the mouth, blistering rash, irritation of the eyes, swelling, muscle aches, joint pain, and a possible fever. Viramune has also been closely associated with liver damage. Patients should urgently contact the physician should they develop nausea, vomiting, dark urine, clay colored stools, jaundice, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and itching.
An allergic reaction is possible for patients just starting Viramune and would also require immediate emergency medical attention. Symptoms such as facial swelling, swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, or throat, hives, and difficulty breathing indicate an allergic reaction and needs immediate medical care.
Less serious side effects such as headaches, mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, muscle pain, numbness, tingling, or changes in the body’s composition of body fat should be reported to the prescribing physician. Often some side effects can be made more tolerable by simply reducing the dosage of the medication.
Viramune should be taken exactly as it has been prescribed by the physician. If the patient misses a dose, it is acceptable to take the dose at the next earliest convenience unless it is almost time for the next scheduled dose, in which case the missed dose needs to be skipped. Doubling up on medication to make up for a missed dose or taking more than is prescribed can result in an overdose. Headache, swelling, rash, fever, fatigue, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, and lung problems can occur with an overdose, and even if the patient is asymptomatic, immediate medical attention should be sought.
There is a risk of drug interactions associated with Viramune and a thorough medical history should be assessed prior to prescribing this medication. Medications such as protease inhibitors, rifampin, methadone, birth control pills, St. John’s wort, and ketoconazole are likely to interact with Viramune. Patients should be heavily encouraged to inquire with a pharmacist or the prescribing physician before taking any new medications, including over the counter medications and herbal remedies. Birth control pills can be made ineffective with the use of Viramune, and a secondary non-hormonal back up birth control should be used as well.