Sustiva belongs to a class of drugs known as non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) that are prescribed to help reduce the amount of the human immunodeficiency virus in your body. Your doctor will combine Sustiva or generic Efavirenz, with one or more other antiretroviral drugs in order to treat HIV at different stages. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
NNRTIs such as Sustiva attach themselves to the reverse transcriptase enzyme where it prevents the virus from using this enzyme to convert their own RNA into DNA. Without this essential enzyme, the HIV genetic material is unable to be reproduced into a new virus. There is no cure for HIV, but taking Sustiva or Efavirenz generic as part of your viral drug regimen can help to decrease the amount of the HIV in your body.
Retroviruses are those that require a host cell in order to grow and multiply. Once infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, the cells most likely to be hi-jacked are those with the proteins found on their surface that allows the virus to bind to it. A main target is the T4-cells because these have the protein needed that the virus is able to bind to. After binding to a T4-cell, HIV hides its own generic material called RNA, into the cells’ DNA. Now the cell is able to produce more viruses.
By taking Sustiva along with other antiretroviral meds, there is “back-up” if any of the new viruses become resistant to one of the drugs. These drugs will not protect you from infecting others with HIV so caution must be taken to ensure this does not happen.
Before starting treatment with Sustiva, advise your doctor of any other medical conditions you have, especially: liver disease; high cholesterol or triglycerides; history of mental illness; seizures/epilepsy. Some medications may produce unwanted side effects when combined with Sustiva so tell your doctor about any over the counter medications or Rx drugs you are taking, including homeopathic remedies and vitamin supplements to avoid possible negative interactions with Sustiva.
Sustiva may cause serious psychiatric symptoms that include depression, aggression, and hallucinations. Contact your primary caregiver immediately if this happens. You should not take Sustiva if you are pregnant. It is advised that you use two forms of birth control while taking Sustiva and for at least twelve weeks after treatment ends. Semen is able to carry HIV so all means of protection should be taken.