The following drug information is obtained from various newswires, published
medical journal articles, and medical conference presentations.
Sustiva was approved in 1998 in capsule formulation, for the
treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, in
combination with other anti-retroviral agents. In February 2002,
the tablet formulation of the drug was approved. It is now
possible, instead of taking three 200 mg capsules once-daily, to
take a single 600 mg tablet once-daily. Sustiva is listed by United
States Department of Health and Human Services as the only
non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor "strongly
recommended" for use in combination with nucleoside reverse
transciptase inhibitors for HIV treatment.
Close to one million Americans are now infected with HIV, the
virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Each
year only a little over one third of those infected receive
anti-HIV treatments regimens. Most of those that do get treatment
are forced to take numerous pills, often through out the day.
Innovations in drug formulations, such as single once-daily doses
of Sustiva, can help simplify daily dosing regimens.
The approval of Sustiva 600 mg tablets is supported by two
studies conducted in 1,462 HIV infected subjects. Both compared
Sustiva, in combination with other anti-retroviral agents, to other
anti-retroviral drug combinations. The regimens that included
Sustiva 600 mg tablets elicited comparable and superior increases
in CD4 cell counts from baseline to post-treatment.
Adverse events associated with the use of Sustiva may include
(but are not limited to) the following:
- Skin rash (more common in children)
- Impaired concentration
- Abnormal dreaming
Mechanism of Action
Sustiva (efavirenz) is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase
(RT) inhibitor of HIV type 1. It acts predominantly through the
non-competitive inhibition of HIV-1 RT. The drug does not inhibit
HIV-2 RT or human cellular DNA polymerases alpha, beta, gamma and
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