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Molecule Description

Efavirenz is a ‘non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor’ type of antiretroviral medicine used in the treatment of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) which can cause AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
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Uses of Efavirenz

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection

Contraindications of Efavirenz

When should one not use Efavirenz

  • Do not take this medicine if:
  • You are allergic to this medicine
  • You have severe liver disease or heart disease

Side effects of Efavirenz

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Skin rash
  • Loose motions
  • Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Giddiness
  • Jaundice
  • Drowsiness
  • Pain in stomach
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Headache
  • Tired feeling
  • Anxiety

Precautions and Warnings of Efavirenz


Can I take Efavirenz during pregnancy?
It is probably unsafe to take this medicine during pregnancy as this can harm the unborn baby.

Breast Feeding

Can I take Efavirenz while breastfeeding?
HIV infection can pass through breast milk to the baby. Also, this medicine passes in breast milk, therefore avoid breastfeeding when on this medication. Consult your doctor for advice.


Can I drive if I have consumed Efavirenz?
Taking this medicine may lead to the cause of decreased alertness and spinning sensation. Therefore avoid driving when on this medication.


Can I consume alcohol with Efavirenz?
Drinking alcohol may lead to dizziness or a spinning sensation. Avoid alcoholic beverages while on this medication.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • If you have both, HIV infection and Hepatitis B, then it is very important not to stop this medical treatment without talking to your concerned doctor first
  • You have a history of mental illness, liver disease or fits

Mode of Action of Efavirenz

How Does It Work?

Efavirenz is an antiretroviral medicine that prevents the multiplication of HIV, thereby reducing the count of the virus in blood.

Interactions of Efavirenz

Interactions with other medicines

  • Antibiotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Heart rhythm medicines
  • Any other HIV medicine
  • Cholesterol-lowering medicines
  • Heart or BP medicine
  • Hepatitis C medicine
  • Seizure medicine (anticonvulsants)

Interactions with food items

No specific interactions with food have been reported yet.

Dietary Restrictions of Efavirenz

No information is available on dietary restrictions while you are taking this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist for further details.

Dosage of Efavirenz


The effects of an overdose may be lethal and need immediate medical attention. The symptoms of overdose can be – sleeping difficulties, nausea, vomiting, irritability, anxiety, etc. If you happen to take an overdose of the medicine, seek emergency medical care immediately.
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Missed a Dose

Take the missed dose as early as you remember. Skip the missed dose and do not take extra medicine to compensate for the missed dose.

Content Details


Dr. Rukman Mecca

MBBS, MD (Community Medicine)


Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: What should I discuss with my healthcare expert before taking Efavirenz?

  • Inform the doctor about your detailed medical and surgical history and if you have any of the following conditions:
  • Liver disease, Hepatitis B or C
  • Seizures
  • Known history of mental illness such as depression, anxiety, etc.
  • High cholesterol
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • Inform if you are pregnant, lactating or planning a pregnancy
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)

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The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts. Please click here for detailed T&C.
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