Sustiva (Efavirenz) Customer Reviews


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Efavirenz is employed in conjunction with other medications to manage human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. It falls into the category of drugs known as non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). Efavirenz operates by reducing the level of HIV in the bloodstream. While it does not provide a cure for HIV, it can lower the likelihood of developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and HIV-related conditions such as severe infections or cancer.

Uses and Dosage

Take this medication orally on an empty stomach as instructed by your doctor, typically once daily before bedtime. Consuming efavirenz with food can elevate the medication’s blood levels, potentially increasing the risk of specific side effects.

Swallow the whole capsule with water. If you encounter difficulty swallowing the capsule, you may open it and gently combine the contents with a small amount (1 to 2 teaspoons) of soft food, such as applesauce, grape jelly, or yogurt. After taking the mixed medication, add an additional 2 teaspoons of food to the empty mixing container. Ingest the remaining mixture to ensure you receive the complete dose. This should be done within 30 minutes of mixing. Avoid consuming any food for 2 hours after taking this medication. For infants who cannot consume solid foods, the contents may be blended with 2 teaspoons of infant formula and drawn up into an oral syringe for administration to the baby (consult the Patient Information Leaflet for further details).

The prescribed dosage is contingent on your medical condition, response to treatment, and any other medications you may be using. Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all products you are taking, encompassing prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal supplements. In children, the dosage is also determined by their weight.

Consistency in taking this medication (as well as other HIV medications) precisely as prescribed by your doctor is of utmost importance. Do not miss any doses, alter your dose, increase its frequency beyond the prescribed regimen, or discontinue the medication (or other HIV medications) even briefly, unless specifically directed by your doctor. Skipping or altering your dose without your doctor’s approval may lead to increased viral levels, render the infection more challenging to treat (resistance), or exacerbate side effects.

For optimal effectiveness, administer this medication at regular intervals. To aid in remembering, take this medication at the same time each day.

Side Effects

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • indigestion
  • headache
  • confusion
  • forgetfulness
  • feeling anxious, nervous, or agitated
  • abnormally happy mood
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • unusual dreams
  • pain

Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:

  • fever
  • rash
  • itching
  • peeling, blistering, or shedding skin
  • mouth sores
  • pink eye
  • swelling of your face
  • fainting
  • irregular heartbeat
  • extreme tiredness
  • lack of energy
  • loss of appetite
  • pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • flu-like symptoms
  • seizures


Prior to commencing efavirenz, inform your doctor or pharmacist about any allergies you may have, whether to efavirenz itself or any other allergens. This medication may include inactive components that can trigger allergic reactions or other potential complications.

Before using this medication, disclose your medical history to your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have a history of mental or mood disorders, liver problems (including hepatitis B or C or cirrhosis), a history of drug/substance/alcohol abuse, seizures, or elevated levels of cholesterol or triglycerides.

Efavirenz may potentially lead to a heart rhythm condition known as QT prolongation. QT prolongation can rarely cause severe rapid/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms, such as profound dizziness or fainting, necessitating immediate medical attention. Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also elevate your risk of QT prolongation. This risk could further increase with the use of specific drugs (such as diuretics or “water pills”) or in cases of severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Consult your doctor for guidance on the safe use of efavirenz under these circumstances.

This medication may induce dizziness, drowsiness, or difficulty concentrating. Alcohol or marijuana can exacerbate these effects. Refrain from activities that require alertness, such as driving or operating machinery, until you can do so safely.

In children taking efavirenz, a rash may be more frequent and severe. Report any rash promptly, and your doctor may prescribe an antihistamine for your child to take before initiating efavirenz.

Older adults may exhibit increased sensitivity to the side effects of this medication, especially QT prolongation.

During pregnancy, this medication should be employed only when it is deemed absolutely necessary. Treatment can lower the risk of transmitting HIV infection to your baby, and efavirenz may be part of that treatment. Women of childbearing age should inquire about reliable forms of birth control while using this medication and for 12 weeks after discontinuing treatment. If you become pregnant, consult your doctor promptly regarding the risks and benefits of this medication.

This medication is excreted in breast milk, and since breast milk can transmit HIV, breastfeeding is not recommended.

Form and Strength

Sustiva is available in the following forms and strengths:

  • Sustiva tablet:

    • 200mg
    • 600mg
  • efavirenz capsule:

    • 200mg


Why is Sustiva taken on an empty stomach?

In clinical studies, people taking Sustiva with food absorbed more of the medication in their body. This leads to more side effects, such as diarrhea and vomiting.

Why is Sustiva taken at night?

Sustiva can typically cause nerve problems, such as dizziness, trouble concentrating, drowsiness, unusual dreams, and not being able to balance. Taking this medication at bedtime can help you better tolerate these side effects.



Additional information

Generic name:



Capsule, Tablet


200mg, 600mg

Quantities Available:

30, 90

Can Drug Store has provided information from third parties intended to increase awareness and does not contain all the information about Sustiva (Efavirenz). Talk to your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner for medical attention, advice, or if you have any concerns about Sustiva (Efavirenz).