etravirine

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Etravirine is a new non-nucleoside drug, the first new NNRTI to be developed in recent years. Unlike earlier non-nucleoside drugs – nevirapine and efavirenz – etravirine has been designed to remain active against HIV in people who have developed resistance to the other non-nucleosides.

People who have taken several previous treatment regimens, and those with identified pre-existing resistance to other non-nucleoside drugs, are the most likely to benefit from etravirine.

Etravirine has been available in Australia under a Special Assistance Scheme for some time, and from 1 July 2009 is available on the PBS.

Basic info


Generic name etravirine
Brand name Intelence
Also known as TMC-125 (former code name)
Drug class Non-Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Pediatric dosing? Available in doses suitable for children and/or young people.
Availability in Australia Available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) through S100 prescribers since 2009
Formulation 200mg tablet
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Taking it

Like most anti-HIV drugs, etravirine must be taken in combination with other drugs to be completely effective. Commonly, etravirine is combined with one other nucleoside (NRTI) drug and either a protease inhibitor or non-nucleoside, although other combinations are sometimes used. Your doctor will advise you on the right combination of drugs to suit your circumstances.


Dosage

The normal adult dosage is 400mg per day – two 100mg tablets taken twice each day, with food.

Regardless of what you read on this website or elsewhere, you should always take your medications according to your doctor's instructions. If you're unsure, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.


With or without food

etravirine should be taken with food

Side effect

All drugs can produce side effects in some people. These may be mild, moderate or severe, so you should be aware of potential side effects before starting any drug, and speak to your doctor if you experience side effects that concern you.


  • Common side effects may include nausea (upset stomach, feeling sick to the stomach), rash.
  • Less common side effects may include diarrhoea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, abdominal pain, tingling or pain in the hands or feet, numbness, raised blood pressure.
  • Rare side effects may include serious hypersensitivity reaction which may be life-threatening.
  • It's unlikely you will experience all of these side effects, and you may not experience any side effects at all. Before starting any new drug, ask your doctor about side effects you might experience and discuss strategies for dealing with side effects if they do occur. If you experience any significant side effect you should continue taking your medicine and see your doctor as soon as possible.

Interactions with other drugs

Drugs to watch out for include other ARVs, including all protease inhibitors. Also be careful with drugs to treat tuberculosis, for erectile dysfunction (such as Viagra), for heart rhythm (antiarrhythmics) or angina. Interactions are also possible with several drugs to lower cholesterol. Etravirine does not appear to affect blood levels of oral contraceptives, antacids, methadone. Etravirine has not been studied with buprenorphine. The herb St. John's Wort lowers the blood levels of some nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Do not take it with Etravirine.