The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  •  (1)
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

An Overview of Sustiva (Efavirenz, Stocrin)

August 23, 2013

 < Prev  |  1  |  2 

How should I take efavirenz?

Efavirenz comes in two forms:

  • 200-mg and 50-mg capsules (brand name: Sustiva).
  • 600-mg tablets (brand name: Sustiva).

Take efavirenz according to your health care provider’s instructions.

Take efavirenz on an empty stomach and without food, preferably at bedtime. Swallow efavirenz with water.


For adults and pediatric patients who cannot swallow capsules or tablets, the capsule contents can be taken by mixing the contents with a small amount (1 to 2 teaspoons) of food or infant formula. (Use of infant formula should be considered only for young infants who cannot reliably eat solid foods.) After mixing and taking the efavirenz-food or -formula mixture, an additional small amount (2 teaspoons) of food or formula should be added to the empty mixing container, stirred, and then taken. No additional food should be eaten 2 hours after taking efavirenz.

Always take efavirenz in combination with other anti-HIV medicines.

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

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

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and just take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.

What side effects can efavirenz cause?

Efavirenz can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include serious psychiatric problems and liver problems. (See the WARNING above.)

Other possible side effects of efavirenz include:

  • Rash. If you develop a rash, call your health care provider right away. Rash may be a serious problem in some children.
  • Changes in body fat (lipodystrophy).
  • Increased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (hyperlipidemia).
  • Changes in the immune system (immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome).
  • Dizziness.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Trouble sleeping and/or unusual dreams.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Tiredness.
  • Upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of efavirenz. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist for more information on possible side effects of efavirenz.

How should efavirenz be stored?

  • Store efavirenz in the original bottle at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Safely throw away efavirenz that is no longer needed or expired (out of date).
  • Keep efavirenz and all medicines out of reach of children.

Where can I find more information about efavirenz?

More information about efavirenz is available:

Manufacturer Information

Bristol-Myers Squibb

The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Capsule (gelatin coated), tablet (film coated).

 < Prev  |  1  |  2 

  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  •  (1)
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by AIDSinfo. Visit the AIDSinfo website to find out more about their activities and publications.
See Also
More on HIV Medications
More on Sustiva (Efavirenz, Stocrin)


Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining: