Treats human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The HIV virus causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Enfuvirtide does not cure HIV or AIDS, but it may slow the progress of the disease.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin.
- Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
- You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas. This medicine is usually given under the skin by injection in the upper arm, upper leg or stomach. Do not give yourself a shot near your elbow, knee, groin, lower or inner buttocks, into your navel (belly button), or into any skin where you have a mole, scar, bruise, tattoos, or burn sites.
- Use a new needle, syringe, and vial of medicine each time you inject your medicine.
- This medicine comes as a powder that must be mixed with a special liquid before using. Use only the sterile water that came with your medicine to prepare it. Do not shake the medicine after adding the water. Gently tap the vial for 10 seconds and then role it between your hands to avoid foaming. Wait for the powdered medicine to completely dissolve in the water before using it. This may take up to 45 minutes. Before using the medicine, make sure the solution is clear, colorless, and without bubbles.
- Enfuvirtide is used with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Use all other medicines your doctor has prescribed as part of your combination treatment.
If a dose is missed:
- It is very important that you receive all of your doses of this medicine on time. Keep a written record of the times that you take this medicine. Talk with your pharmacist or doctor if you need ideas about how to keep up with your schedule.
- Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the powdered medicine at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. After mixing the powder with the liquid, use the mixture right away or store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Do not store the mixture in the syringe. When you use a mixture that has been in the refrigerator, let it slowly return to room temperature before giving yourself a shot.
- Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets. Do not throw your needles in the trash.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, are planning to become pregnant, or if you get pregnant while you are being treated with this medicine. Tell your doctor if you smoke or if you have a history of lung disease.
- Do not breastfeed. You can spread HIV or AIDS to your baby through your breast milk.
- You might sometimes have a mild skin reaction where the shot was given. You might feel mild pain or discomfort, or have a hard spot or bump. Your skin might itch, or it might look red, swollen, or bruised. The reaction usually lasts fewer than 7 days. Ask your doctor what to do if you have a reaction. Do not give yourself another shot in an area where you are still having a reaction.
- Call your doctor right away if you have a severe skin reaction, or if you think you have an infection. Some signs of an infection are pus or oozing where the shot was given, or skin swelling, redness, heat, or pain that gets worse.
- Some people who have used Biojector® 2000 to inject this medicine have had shooting nerve pain and tingling lasting up to 6 months when injected close to large nerves or near joints, or had bleeding, bruising, and lumps. Make sure your doctor knows if you have hemophilia or any other bleeding disorders, or if you are taking any blood thinners before you use the device.
- When you start taking HIV medicines, your immune system may get stronger. If you have infections that are hidden in your body, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis, you may notice new symptoms when your body tries to fight them. If this occurs, tell your doctor immediately.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
- Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
- This medicine will not keep you from giving HIV to others. Always practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Do not share needles or other items that may have blood or body fluids on them.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blood in your urine.
- Coughing and painful, difficult, or fast breathing.
- Fever with vomiting and skin rash.
- Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
- Sudden and severe stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.
- Swelling of your feet.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Muscle pain or weakness.
- Redness, pain, swelling, itching, blistering, or rash where the shot was given.
- Runny or stuffy nose, headache.
- Unusual tiredness, or trouble sleeping.
- Weight loss or loss of appetite.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last reviewed on 8/4/2014
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