December 11, 2012
Rilpivirine is a drug used as part of antiretroviral therapy (ART). It is also called Edurant. It is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
Rilpivirine is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (a "non-nuke" or NNRTI). These drugs stop HIV from multiplying by preventing the reverse transcriptase enzyme from working. This enzyme changes HIV's genetic material (RNA) into the form of DNA. This step has to occur before HIV's genetic code gets inserted into an infected cell's genetic codes.
Fact Sheet 125) is below 100,000. It has not been studied in older adults. It is not recommended for children and adolescents.
There are no absolute rules about when to start ART. You and your health care provider should consider your CD4 cell count, your viral load, any symptoms you are having, and your attitude about taking HIV medications. Fact Sheet 404 has more information about guidelines for the use of ARVs.
If you take rilpivirine with other ARVs, you can reduce your viral load to extremely low levels, and increase your CD4 cell counts. This should mean staying healthier longer.
Fact Sheet 126 for more information on resistance.
Sometimes, if your virus develops resistance to one drug, it will also have resistance to other ARVs. This is called "cross-resistance." Cross-resistance between efavirenz, delavirdine, nevirapine, etravirine and rilpivirine (all NNRTIs) develops very easily. If you develop resistance to one of these NNRTIs, you probably won't be able to use any of them in your ART.
Resistance can develop quickly. It is very important to take ARVs according to instructions, on schedule, and not to skip or reduce doses.
Rilpivirine appears to be safe for patients with mild or moderate kidney or liver problems.
The most common side effects of rilpivirine are depression, insomnia, headache and rash. Be sure to discuss any side effects with your health care provider. Rilpivirine can cause liver damage. Be sure your health care provider knows if you have hepatitis B or C.
Drugs to avoid include some antacids. Drugs to watch out for include other ARVs, including all protease inhibitors. Make sure that your health care provider knows about ALL drugs and supplements you are taking.
Rilpivirine may decrease blood levels of methadone. However, doses do not need to be adjusted. Rilpivirine has not been studied with buprenorphine.
There is no information on rilpivirine's effects on oral contraceptives.