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 breastfeeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Blood tests: Etravirine can cause changes in your blood test results, such as red blood cell count, platelet count, cholesterol level, and sugar level. Your doctor will explain these to you and monitor your blood levels.
Fat redistribution: Over time, this medication may change how fat is distributed in your body and may change your body shape. You may notice increased fat in the upper back, neck, and breast, as well as around the back, chest, and stomach area. You may also notice loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face. The long-term effects of this are not known.
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.
Liver function: Etravirine may reduce liver function and can cause liver failure. If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.
If you have severe liver problems or decreased liver function, 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.
Pancreatitis: This medication may rarely cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). If you have a history of or are at risk for developing pancreatitis, you should be closely monitored by your doctor while taking this medication. If you develop signs of pancreatitis (e.g., upper left abdominal pain, back pain, nausea, fever, chills, rapid heartbeat, swollen abdomen), contact your doctor.
Skin rashes: This medication can cause skin rash, which is usually mild and moderate. However, etravirine can cause severe skin reactions. If you develop a skin rash while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. If the rash is severe and you also have a fever, muscle or joint aches, blisters, or facial swelling, stop taking the medication and get immediate medical attention.
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 etravirine passes into breast milk. Women who have HIV 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.
Seniors: Seniors are more likely to have reduced kidney, liver and heart function or other diseases which may cause an increase in side effects. Lower than the usual adult doses may be needed.