Nevirapine

Nevirapine (Viramune) is approved for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children as part of a combination therapy. During the first 12 weeks of treatment, patients must be closely monitored for the development of potentially fatal hepatic toxicity (i.e., hepatitis, hepatic necrosis, and hepatic failure) and skin reactions (i.e., Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and hypersensitivity reactions). Although these toxici-ties are rare, common side effects include mild to moderate rash, fever, nausea, fatigue, headache, and elevated liver enzymes.

Nevirapine induces and is metabolized by CYP3A4; therefore, coadministration of drugs that induce or are metabolized by this isoenzyme may result in interactions. Nevirapine may decrease the effectiveness of ethinyl estradiol-based contraceptives and can lower plasma concentrations of methadone. Nevirapine should not be administered with ketoconazole, rifampin, or ri-fabutin.

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