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Could Efavirenz be an Effective Drug For You?

Millions around the world are living with HIV. Life with HIV is hard and socially difficult. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic life-threatening condition that is caused by HIV that damages our body’s ability to fight infection by damaging our immune response. How does one get the virus? How do you get AIDS? Well, there are several modes of transmission, it can be sexual contact, contact with infected blood, a drug injection, or it could be sharing contaminated needles. Mother can pass the virus to her child through breastfeeding and also during the gestation period in-utero.  Depending on the phase of infection the signs and symptoms can vary. The symptoms take some time to show up. The common initial symptoms could be a fever, or the patient may experience fatigue, weight loss, diarrhoea, or rashes. It is essential to treat AIDS as if left untreated it could lead to being fatal. Doctors use anti-retroviral therapy to lower the viral load. it has helped thousands of patients worldwide and the death rates have significantly decreased. Efavirenz is effective to treat and prevent HIV.




What is Efavirenz?

An antiretroviral medication, Efavirenz belongs to the class of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) medicines. It is beneficial in the treatment of HIV/AIDS in combination with other antiretrovirals. 
Efavirenz does not cure HIV, but it lowers the HIV load and helps provide a better immune system. The drug when taken in combination with other antiretroviral can give favourable results. This drug works by binding to the NNRTI pocket, away from the active site targeting the reverse transcriptase enzyme, the viral enzyme which transcribes viral RNA into DNA. It stops the multiplication of the virus.

Precautions Before taking Efavirenz

All drugs interact with each other and the food you eat. The interactions may cause certain side effects or reactions. Before starting treatment with Efavirenz, make your doctor aware if you have any medical condition, or have a history of any medical condition. Let your doctor know if you are taking any prescription medications, herbal medicines, or over-the-counter drugs.

•    Inform the doctor if you are pregnant.
•    Tell the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
•    Efavirenz may cause heart problems, inform the doctor if you have any heart-related troubles or problems.
•    Inform about your personal or family history of cardiac disorder, liver disease, kidney disorder, or skin issues.
•    Let the doctor know if you have, high blood pressure, asthma, or are suffering from depression.
•    Also, remember to talk about any alcohol consumption or addiction you may have.
•    Kindly make sure to discuss all the current prescribed and unprescribed drugs, and herbal products that are consumed.

How to take Efavirenz?

•    It is best to take Efavirenz on an empty stomach. It is consumed orally by mouth.
•    Always follow all directions of your doctor and take the medicine exactly as told. 
•    Consult your doctor before stopping the drug. 
•    Do not alter the dosage without consulting with a doctor; that might allow the virus to spread and difficult to treat.
•    The dose of Efavirenz differs for each patient. It is different for pregnant ladies and children too.
•    Adult patients should take Efavirenz 600 milligrams (mg) once a day, with other medicines. 
•    In the case of a tablet or capsule, always swallow it whole, do not break or crush it.
•    The medicine should be taken under the strict consultation of the doctor. In case you missed any dose, it is advised to take it as soon as possible but avoid double doses.
•    Take the medicine regularly to experience maximum benefits. Skipping doses may lead to an increased risk of the virus being resistant.
•    You would need regular health checks while taking Efavirenz. Make sure you take the tests.
•    The weight of the patient plays a crucial role while deciding the dosage. Monitor your weight regularly and report it to your doctor.

How is Efavirenz available?

Efavirenz is available as tablets and capsules. It is popularly sold under the following brand names 

•    Evirenz (200mg)
•    Viranz 
•    Duovir E Kit 
•    Efavir (600 mg)
•    Zidolam-N (300mg/150mg/200mg) 
•    Efcure 
•    Evirenz (200mg) 
•    Lazid E
•    Emduo E 30 
•    Efavir (200 mg) 
•    Odivir (600mg/300mg/250mg) 
•    Virolis-E 
•    Viraday (300mg/200mg/600mg) 
•    Virolis-E Kit
•    Tenola-E (300mg/300mg/600mg) 
•    Emduo E 40
•    Cytocom -E 
•    Estiva (600 mg) 
•    Vonavir (300mg/200mg) 
•    Revenz 

Adverse effects associated with Efavirenz

All drugs, along with the benefits, exhibit some side effects. Efavirenz also has several side effects. Efavirenz affects your immune system and hence can cause many side effects. Discuss the risks associated with Efavirenz with your doctor. If you experience any unpleasant side effects, inform your doctor. The doctor weighs the benefits and can adjust the doses accordingly. 

Some of the common side effects are listed below.

•    Nausea
•    Vomiting
•    Stomach pain
•    Confusion
•    Forgetfulness
•    Sleep problems

Some allergic reactions are given below

•    Fever or flu
•    Rash
•    Peeling, blistering, or shedding skin
•    Swelling up of body parts
•    Mouth sores

Call your doctor immediately if you have any allergic reaction.

Some severe side effects of Efavirenz could be as follows

•    Pink eye
•    Irregular heartbeat
•    Extreme tiredness
•    Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
•    Unusual bleeding or bruising
•    Yellowing of the skin or eyes
•    Seizures
•    Wheezing
•    Night sweats
•    Hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia
•    Dark coloured urine and stools

Severe side effects need immediate medical attention. Call your doctor if you feel any unwanted side effects or experience the above-mentioned symptoms.

How to know if Efavirenz suits you?

Pharmacogenetic tests like the MEDNAwise test are the perfect tool to tell you if a drug is effective and safe for you. It helps you meet the accurate need for treatment for any disease.

Precision medicines have proved to be efficient for many. MEDNAwise test has proved to be a boon for patients who have been spending a lot of money on responsive treatments. The era of trial-and-error medicine has ended with the advent of pharmacogenetic tests like the MEDNAwise. MEDNAwise can precisely tell you if Efavirenz suits you. Your genes are responsible for most things in your body, including the response to the drugs you take. MEDNAwise pharmacogenetic test analyses your genes and can envisage your response to 70+ drugs. You can now know if a specific drug is effective for you, with minimal side effects. MEDNAwise helps lower the rate of therapeutic failure and reduces the chances of any adverse drug reactions. It helps your doctor to find the best-suited drug for you. With the test results, it is easy for the doctor to start the precise treatment in the budding stages and curb the progression of the disease.

An affordable and accessible pharmacogenetic test, the MEDNAwise test needs to be taken only once. The results of the same can be used again and again in the future. It is a no-prick, simple spit swab test. You can take it at your home and send the samples for testing. 
Furthermore, once the results are out, genetic counsellors can help you decide your diet and further health check-ups. 

Soon to be routine, pharmacogenetic tests have become the new normal in personalized medicine. When you have such amazing products to help you build a healthier future, it is only right to make the most of them. 
Choose the MEDNAWise test for a healthy way to live your life. Book your MEDNAwise pharmacogenetic test today!

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