Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergic reaction: Enfuvirtide can cause allergic reactions in some people. Signs of an allergic reaction include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; hives; or swelling of the eyes, mouth, lips, or throat. If you experience these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. People who have had an allergic reaction to this medication should not be restarted on it.
Diabetes: Enfuvirtide may cause increased blood glucose levels, causing decreased diabetes control. If you have diabetes discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Hypersensitivity reaction: Enfuvirtide may cause hypersensitivity reactions in some people. While these are not true allergic reactions, if you experience symptoms such as rash, fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, tremors, or severe dizziness, you should contact your doctor right away.
Immune reconstitution syndrome: This medication may cause immune reconstitution syndrome, where signs and symptoms of inflammation from previous infections appear. These symptoms occur soon after starting anti-HIV medication and can vary. They are thought to occur as a result of the immune system improving and being able to fight infections that have been present without symptoms (such as pneumonia, herpes, or tuberculosis). Report any new symptoms to your doctor immediately.
Pneumonia: People taking enfuvirtide may have a higher risk of pneumonia caused by bacteria. If you have risk factors for pneumonia, such as being a smoker, using IV drugs, or having previous lung disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
If you see signs of pneumonia (e.g., coughing, fever, shortness of breath, and chest pain) while taking this medication, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if enfuvirtide passes into breast milk. Women who have HIV infection are cautioned against breast-feeding because of the risk of passing HIV to a baby who does not have the infection.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children less than 6 years of age.