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An Overview of Intelence (TMC125, Etravirine)

November 23, 2016

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Brand Name: Intelence
Other Name(s): ETR
Drug Class: Non-nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Approved Use: Treatment of HIV Infection



Etravirine can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include severe rash and allergic reactions.

Contact your health care provider right away if you have a rash. Stop taking etravirine and contact your health care provider right away if you have a rash along with any of the following symptoms:

  • Hives or sores in your mouth.
  • Blistering or peeling skin.
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing.
  • Swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Fever.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice).
  • Dark-colored urine.
  • Abdominal pain (pain on the right side of your stomach area).

While taking etravirine, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.

What Is Etravirine?

Etravirine is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children 6 years of age and older.

Etravirine belongs to a class (group) of HIV drugs called non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). NNRTIs attach to and block an HIV enzyme called reverse transcriptase. (An enzyme is a protein that starts or increases the speed of a chemical reaction.) By blocking reverse transcriptase, NNRTIs prevent HIV from multiplying and can reduce the amount of HIV in the body.

Etravirine is always used in combination with other HIV medicines. Etravirine is used in people who are already taking or have taken an NNRTI plus other HIV medicines and in whom these medicines are not controlling their HIV infection.

HIV medicines can't cure HIV/AIDS, but taking a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV regimen) every day helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission.


What Should I Tell My Health Care Provider Before Taking Etravirine?

Before taking etravirine, tell your health care provider:

  • If you are allergic to etravirine or any other medicines.
  • If you have had or currently have liver problems, including hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
  • If you have any other medical conditions.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Whether etravirine can harm an unborn baby is unknown. Etravirine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefits outweigh the risks. Talk to your health care provider about possible risks with taking etravirine when pregnant.
  • If you are breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed if you are infected with HIV or are taking etravirine.
  • If you are using hormone-based birth control (such as pills, implants, or vaginal rings). For more information about using birth control and HIV medicines at the same time, view the AIDSinfo HIV and Birth Control infographic. 
  • About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Etravirine may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how etravirine works. Taking etravirine together with certain medicines or products may cause serious side effects.

How Should I Take Etravirine?

Etravirine (brand name: Intelence) comes in tablet form in three different strengths:

  • 25-mg tablets.
  • 100-mg tablets.
  • 200-mg tablets.

Take etravirine according to your health care provider's instructions.

Always take etravirine after a meal. Do not take etravirine on an empty stomach. Swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water. Do not chew the tablets.

If you are unable to swallow the etravirine tablets whole, place the tablets in a glass containing a teaspoon of water. (If needed, add more water to cover the tablets.) Do not put the tablets in other liquids. Stir well until the water looks milky. At this step, you may add a small amount of water, orange juice, or milk to make the mixture easier to drink. Then drink the mixture right away. Rinse the glass with water, orange juice, or milk several times, and completely swallow the rinse each time to make sure you take the entire dose of etravirine. Avoid using grapefruit juice or warm (more than 104°F/40°C) or carbonated beverages when taking etravirine tablets.

Always take etravirine in combination with other HIV medicines.

If you take too much etravirine, contact your health care provider or local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) right away, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

For more information on how to take etravirine, see the FDA drug label from DailyMed. (DailyMed is a federal website that includes the most recent drug labels submitted to FDA.)

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This article was provided by AIDSinfo. Visit the AIDSinfo website to find out more about their activities and publications.