Aug 30, 2013
Dear Doctor Ben,
I am thinking about switching from Sustiva to Edurant after being on meds for 3 years. The Sustiva is still causing dizziness etc. As I am treatment experienced it it OK I switch to Edurant or is this only for treatment naive patients? I do know it must be eaten with food. How large should the food volume be? If I do not eat with food does this cause complications? Thank you
Response from Dr. Young
Hello and thanks for posting.
Since both efavirenz (Sustiva) and rilpivirine (Edurant) are first-line NNRTIs it's perfectly ok to switch from one to another. It's a common misconception that you can't switch to another drug for "treatment naive" persons in this setting. Such switches are ok, provided that you've not had treatment failure or drug resistance.
As for food, it's recommended that you take your Edurant with a full meal (~400 Calorie). If you don't take Edurant with food, you won't have adequate absorption of the medication- possibly increasing the risk of treatment failure and drug resistance. If the diet restriction is a problem for you, discuss alternatives (and there are alternatives) with your care provider.
I hope that helps, BY
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