Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Nevirapine is an antiretroviral medication used for treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. It works by preventing the virus from reproducing and hence reducing the amount of virus in your body. This increases the CD4 cell count in your body. CD4 cells are a type of immune cells that help your body fight infections.

Nevirapine is not a cure for HIV infection. It must be taken consistently every day with your other antiretroviral medications to slow the progression of the disease.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Nevirapine may be taken with or without food.
  • The 400 mg extended-release (XR) tablets must be swallowed whole. Do not chew, break, or crush the tablet. Inform your doctor if you have trouble swallowing the tablet.
  • Your doctor will instruct you to gradually increase the dose of the medication.
    Follow the dosing regimen strictly to reduce the risk of developing rashes.
    • Days 1 to 14: Start on initial dose of 200 mg once daily
    • Day 15 onwards: Maintenance dose of 200 mg twice daily or XR 400 mg once daily
    • Inform your doctor if you develop any rashes or stopped the medication for more than 7 days at any point in time.
  • Nevirapine is given in combination with other antiretroviral medication. It is important to comply with taking the antiretroviral combination therapy daily.
  • Do not miss any doses as this may make the medication less effective.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication.
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.
  • You experience symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose and muscle aches, followed by a ‘blistering’ rash on the face, legs, hands and/or body, with painful skin peeling and ulcerations on the mouth and lips.

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Minor side effects include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, headache.
    • These usually resolve on their own after a while. Consult your doctor if these side effects persist and/or bother you.
  • Increase in good cholesterol levels.
    • Your doctor will monitor your cholesterol levels periodically through blood tests.
    • Continue to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise can also help improve cholesterol levels.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

Rarely, this medication may cause serious side effects to the liver and skin. Consult your doctor or seek professional help immediately as these may be severe and potentially life-threatening.

This medication may affect the liver of some patients. Consult your doctor if you experience signs of liver problem such as:

  • Yellowing of the skin and eye white
  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Light-coloured stools
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite

Signs of serious skin reactions (such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) /toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN)) may include:

  • Red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
  • Red or irritated eyes
  • Sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes

Signs of allergic reaction include:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

Never take this medication again in the future if you have ever experienced any of the abovementioned liver problems, skin reaction, or allergic reaction.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Inform your healthcare professional if you are currently taking any one of the following medications:

  • Carbamazepine for seizure control or other conditions
  • Antifungal medications such as Itraconazole, Ketoconazole
  • Tuberculosis medication such as Rifampin, Rifabutin
  • Hepatitis C medication Epclusa

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children.

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack the medication into a bag and bring it back to the pharmacy where you received the medication from.



Please take note that the above is not a complete list of all possible side effects. If you have any concerns about your medication or if you have other side effects that you think are caused by this medication, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on August 2023

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