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Nelfinavir & Food
Jul 18, 2001

Dear Doctor

is it better to be exactly on time with Nelfinavir and take it on an empty stomach, or be late or early with it and take it with food as reccomended? If I'm gonna be late, just how late can I be? My other drugs are DDI, Zerit and Sustiva which I take like clockwork, I just have problems with Nelfinavir because of its food dependency. Thanks COB

Response from Dr. Boyle

Well, this is kind of "you're damned if you do and damned if you don't" kind of question. Nelfinavir levels are significantly increased by a meal (or some food) and so you should take it with a meal. On the other hand, since the half-life of nelfinavir is short and its troughs are extremely important (especially in some patients), being late with a dose is potentially harmful as well. Another point, which makes the significance of the timing of the nelfinavir dose a little less clear, is that you are on 3 other antiretrovirals which may control the virus effectively, even if you're a little late with the nelfinavir. Still, if possible having all of the drugs at their appropriate and effective levels is best. I'd suggest that you carry a candy bar or snack with you so that you can take the nelfinavir with some food and that you try to stick to taking it every 12 hours, if at all possible.



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