No dosage adjustment is recommended when efavirenz is given with the following: aluminum/magnesium hydroxide antacids, azithromycin, cetirizine, famotidine, fluconazole, lorazepam, nelfinavir, nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (abacavir, emtricitabine, lamivudine, stavudine, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, zidovudine), paroxetine, and raltegravir.
Efavirenz does not bind to cannabinoid receptors. False-positive urine cannabinoid test results have been reported with some screening assays in uninfected and HIV-infected subjects receiving efavirenz. Confirmation of positive screening tests for cannabinoids by a more specific method is recommended.
Pregnancy Exposure Registry
There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to efavirenz tablets during pregnancy. Physicians are encouraged to register patients by calling the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry at 1-800-258-4263.
There are retrospective case reports of neural tube defects in infants whose mothers were exposed to efavirenz-containing regimens in the first trimester of pregnancy. Prospective pregnancy data from the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry are not sufficient to adequately assess this risk. Available data from the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry show no difference in the risk of overall major birth defects compared to the background rate for major birth defects of 2.7% in the U.S. reference population of the Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program (MACDP). Although a causal relationship has not been established between exposure to efavirenz in the first trimester and neural tube defects, similar malformations have been observed in studies conducted in monkeys at doses similar to the human dose. In addition, fetal and embryonic toxicities occurred in rats, at a dose ten times less than the human exposure at recommended clinical dose. Because of the potential risk of neural tube defects, efavirenz should not be used in the first trimester of pregnancy. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus.
There are retrospective postmarketing reports of findings consistent with neural tube defects, including meningomyelocele, all in infants of mothers exposed to efavirenz-containing regimens in the first trimester.
Based on prospective reports from the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry (APR) of approximately 1,000 live births following exposure to efavirenz-containing regimens (including over 800 live births exposed in the first-trimester), there was no difference between efavirenz and overall birth defects compared with the background birth defect rate of 2.7% in the U.S. reference population of the Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program. As of the interim APR report issued December 2014, the prevalence of birth defects following first-trimester exposure was 2.3% (95% CI: 1.4% to 3.6%). One of these prospectively reported defects with first-trimester exposure was a neural tube defect. A single case of anophthalmia with first-trimester exposure to efavirenz has also been prospectively reported. This case also included severe oblique facial clefts and amniotic banding, which have a known association with anophthalmia.
Animal Data Effects of efavirenz on embryo-fetal development have been studied in three nonclinical species (cynomolgus monkeys, rats, and rabbits). In monkeys, efavirenz 60 mg/kg/day was administered to pregnant females throughout pregnancy (gestation days 20 through 150). The maternal systemic drug exposures (AUC) were 1.3 times the exposure in humans at the recommended clinical dose (600 mg/day), with fetal umbilical venous drug concentrations approximately 0.7 times the maternal values. Three of 20 fetuses/infants had one or more malformations; there were no malformed fetuses or infants from placebo-treated mothers. The malformations that occurred in these three monkey fetuses included anencephaly and unilateral anophthalmia in one fetus, microphthalmia in a second, and cleft palate in the third. There was no NOAEL (no observable adverse effect level) established for this study because only one dosage was evaluated. In rats, efavirenz was administered either during organogenesis (gestation days 7 to 18) or from gestation day 7 through lactation day 21 at 50, 100, or 200 mg/kg/day. Administration of 200 mg/kg/day in rats was associated with increase in the incidence of early resorptions; and doses 100 mg/kg/day and greater were associated with early neonatal mortality. The AUC at the NOAEL (50 mg/kg/day) in this rat study was 0.1 times that in humans at the recommended clinical dose. Drug concentrations in the milk on lactation day 10 were approximately 8 times higher than those in maternal plasma. In pregnant rabbits, efavirenz was neither embryo lethal nor teratogenic when administered at doses of 25, 50, and 75 mg/kg/day over the period of organogenesis (gestation days 6 through 18). The AUC at the NOAEL (75 mg/kg/day) in rabbits was 0.4 times that in humans at the recommended clinical dose.
Risk Summary The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that HIV-infected mothers not breastfeed their infants to avoid risking postnatal transmission of HIV. Because of the potential for HIV transmission in breastfed infants, advise women not to breastfeed.
Because of potential teratogenic effects, pregnancy should be avoided in women receiving efavirenz tablets. [See Use in Specific Populations (8.1).]Pregnancy Testing
Females of reproductive potential should undergo pregnancy testing before initiation of efavirenz tablets.
Contraception Females of reproductive potential should use effective contraception during treatment with efavirenz tablets and for 12 weeks after discontinuing efavirenz tablets due to the long half-life of efavirenz. Barrier contraception should always be used in combination with other methods of contraception. Hormonal methods that contain progesterone may have decreased effectiveness [see Drug Interactions (7.1)].
The safety, pharmacokinetic profile, and virologic and immunologic responses of efavirenz tablets were evaluated in antiretroviral-naive and -experienced HIV-1 infected pediatric patients 3 months to 21 years of age in three open-label clinical trials [see Adverse Reactions (6.2),Clinical Pharmacology (12.3),and Clinical Studies (14.2)].The type and frequency of adverse reactions in these trials were generally similar to those of adult patients with the exception of a higher frequency of rash, including a higher frequency of Grade 3 or 4 rash, in pediatric patients compared to adults [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8) and Adverse Reactions (6.2)]. Use of efavirenz tablets in patients younger than 3 months of age OR less than 3.5 kg body weight is not recommended because the safety, pharmacokinetics, and antiviral activity of efavirenz tablets have not been evaluated in this age group and there is a risk of developing HIV resistance if efavirenz tablets are underdosed. [See Dosage and Administration (2.2)]for dosing recommendations for pediatric patients.
Clinical studies of efavirenz tablets did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 years and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function and of concomitant disease or other therapy.
Efavirenz tablets are not recommended for patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment because there are insufficient data to determine whether dose adjustment is necessary. Patients with mild hepatic impairment may be treated with efavirenz without any adjustment in dose. Because of the extensive cytochrome P450-mediated metabolism of efavirenz and limited clinical experience in patients with hepatic impairment, caution should be exercised in administering efavirenz tablets to these patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Some patients accidentally taking 600 mg twice daily have reported increased nervous system symptoms. One patient experienced involuntary muscle contractions.
Treatment of overdose with efavirenz tablets should consist of general supportive measures, including monitoring of vital signs and observation of the patient’s clinical status. Administration of activated charcoal may be used to aid removal of unabsorbed drug. There is no specific antidote for overdose with efavirenz tablets. Since efavirenz is highly protein bound, dialysis is unlikely to significantly remove the drug from blood.
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