May 27, 2017
Recommended Topic Related To:


"A new analysis of data from 20 major U.S. cities reveals continued signs of sexual risk among gay and bisexual men, but shows dramatically lower sexual risk among those who accurately know their HIV status. The findings were published today in CD"...





Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


ALERT: Find out about medicines that should not be taken with VIRACEPT. This statement is included on the product's bottle label.

Risk Of Serious Adverse Reactions Due To Drug Interactions

Initiation of VIRACEPT, a CYP3A inhibitor, in patients receiving medications metabolized by CYP3A or initiation of medications metabolized by CYP3A in patients already receiving VIRACEPT, may increase plasma concentrations of medications metabolized by CYP3A. Initiation of medications that inhibit or induce CYP3A may increase or decrease concentrations of VIRACEPT, respectively. These interactions may lead to:

  • Clinically significant adverse reactions, potentially leading to severe, life threatening, or fatal events from greater exposures of concomitant medications.
  • Clinically significant adverse reactions from greater exposures of VIRACEPT.
  • Loss of therapeutic effect of VIRACEPT and possible development of resistance.

See Table 6 for steps to prevent or manage these possible and known significant drug interactions, including dosing recommendations [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. Consider the potential for drug interactions prior to and during VIRACEPT therapy; review concomitant medications during VIRACEPT therapy; and monitor for the adverse reactions associated with the concomitant medications [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Hepatic Impairment

VIRACEPT should not be used in patients with either moderate or severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh B or C, score greater than or equal to 7) [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].


Viracept Oral Powder contains phenylalanine, a component of aspartame. Each gram of VIRACEPT powder contains 11.2 mg phenylalanine. Phenylalanine can be harmful to patients with phenylketonuria.

Diabetes Mellitus/Hyperglycemia

New onset diabetes mellitus, exacerbation of pre-existing diabetes mellitus and hyperglycemia have been reported during postmarketing surveillance in HIV-infected patients receiving protease inhibitor therapy. Some patients required either initiation or dose adjustments of insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents for treatment of these events. In some cases diabetic ketoacidosis has occurred. In those patients who discontinued protease inhibitor therapy, hyperglycemia persisted in some cases. Because these events have been reported voluntarily during clinical practice, estimates of frequency cannot be made and a causal relationship between protease inhibitor therapy and these events has not been established.


There have been reports of increased bleeding, including spontaneous skin hematomas and hemarthrosis, in patients with hemophilia type A and B treated with protease inhibitors. In some patients, additional factor VIII was given. In more than half of the reported cases, treatment with protease inhibitors was continued or reintroduced. A causal relationship has not been established.

Fat Redistribution

Redistribution/accumulation of body fat including central obesity, dorsocervical fat enlargement (“buffalo hump”), peripheral wasting, facial wasting, breast enlargement, and “cushingoid appearance” have been observed in patients receiving antiretroviral therapy. The mechanism and long-term consequences of these events are currently unknown. A causal relationship has not been established.

Immune Reconstitution Syndrome

Immune reconstitution syndrome has been reported in patients treated with combination antiretroviral therapy, including VIRACEPT. During the initial phase of combination antiretroviral treatment, patients whose immune system responds may develop an inflammatory response to indolent or residual opportunistic infections [such as Mycobacterium avium infection, cytomegalovirus, Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP), or tuberculosis], which may necessitate further evaluation and treatment.

Autoimmune disorders (such as Graves' disease, polymyositis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome) have also been reported to occur in the setting of immune reconstitution; however, the time to onset is more variable, and can occur many months after initiation of treatment.

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION)

A statement to patients and healthcare providers is included on the product's bottle label: ALERT: Find out about medicines that should NOT be taken with VIRACEPT.

  • Instruction for Use

For optimal absorption, patients should be advised to take VIRACEPT with food.

Patients should be informed that VIRACEPT Tablets are film-coated and that this film-coating is intended to make the tablets easier to swallow.

If a dose of VIRACEPT is missed, patients should take the dose as soon as possible and then return to their normal schedule. However, if a dose is skipped, the patient should not double the next dose.

Adult or pediatric patients unable to swallow the tablets may dissolve the tablets in a small amount of water:

  • Place VIRACEPT tablet(s) in small amount of water
  • Once dissolved, mix the cloudy liquid well, and consume it immediately.
  • The glass should be rinsed with water and the rinse swallowed to ensure the entire dose is consumed

Pediatric patients unable to swallow tablets can also use the powder formulation:

  • Mix VIRACEPT Oral Powder with a small amount of water, milk, formula, soy formula, soy milk, or dietary supplements
  • Once mixed, the entire contents must be consumed in order to obtain the full dose.
  • If the mixture is not consumed immediately, it must be stored under refrigeration, but storage must not exceed 6 hours.
  • Acidic food or juice (e.g., orange juice, apple juice, or apple sauce) are not recommended for mixing VIRACEPT Oral Powder because the combination may result in a bitter taste.
  • VIRACEPT Oral Powder should not be reconstituted with water in its original container.
Drug Interactions

VIRACEPT may interact with some drugs; therefore, patients should be advised to report to their doctor the use of any other prescription, non-prescription medication or herbal products, particularly St. John's wort.

Patients receiving oral contraceptives should be instructed that alternate or additional contraceptive measures should be used during therapy with VIRACEPT.

Patients receiving sildenafil, or other PDE5 inhibitors, and nelfinavir should be advised that they may be at an increased risk of PDE5 inhibitor-associated adverse events including hypotension, visual changes, and prolonged penile erection, and should promptly report any symptoms to their doctor.

Hepatic Impairment

Patients should be informed that VIRACEPT should not be used if there is moderate or severe hepatic impairment.


Physicians should alert patients with phenylketonuria that VIRACEPT Oral Powder contains phenylalanine

Fat Redistribution

Patients should be informed that redistribution or accumulation of body fat may occur in patients receiving antiretroviral therapy, including PREZISTA/ritonavir, and that the cause and long-term health effects of these conditions are not known at this time

The most frequent adverse event associated with VIRACEPT is diarrhea, which can usually be controlled with non-prescription drugs, such as loperamide, which slow gastrointestinal motility.

General Information

VIRACEPT is not a cure for HIV-1 infection and patients may continue to experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection, including opportunistic infections. Patients should remain under the care of a physician when using VIRACEPT. Patients should be advised to avoid doing things that can spread HIV-1 infection to others.

  • Do not share needles or other injection equipment.
  • Do not share personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them, like toothbrushes and razor blades.
  • Do not have any kind of sex without protection. Always practice safe sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood.
  • Do not breastfeed. We do not know if VIRACEPT can be passed to your baby in your breast milk and whether it could harm your baby. Also, mothers with HIV-1 should not breastfeed because HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in the breast milk.

Patients should be told that sustained decreases in plasma HIV RNA have been associated with a reduced risk of progression to AIDS and death.

Patients should remain under the care of a physician while using VIRACEPT. Patients should be advised to take VIRACEPT and other concomitant antiretroviral therapy every day as prescribed. Patients should not alter the dose or discontinue therapy without consulting with their doctor.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Carcinogenicity studies in mice and rats were conducted with nelfinavir at oral doses up to 1000 mg/kg/day. No evidence of a tumorigenic effect was noted in mice at systemic exposures (Cmax) up to 9-fold those measured in humans at the recommended therapeutic dose (750 mg TID or 1250 mg BID). In rats, thyroid follicular cell adenomas and carcinomas were increased in males at 300 mg/kg/day and higher and in females at 1000 mg/kg/day. Systemic exposures (Cmax) at 300 and 1000 mg/kg/day were 1- to 3-fold, respectively, those measured in humans at the recommended therapeutic dose. Repeated administration of nelfinavir to rats produced effects consistent with hepatic microsomal enzyme induction and increased thyroid hormone deposition; these effects predispose rats, but not humans, to thyroid follicular cell neoplasms. Nelfinavir showed no evidence of mutagenic or clastogenic activity in a battery of in vitro and in vivo genetic toxicology assays. These studies included bacterial mutation assays in S. typhimurium and E. coli, a mouse lymphoma tyrosine kinase assay, a chromosomal aberration assay in human lymphocytes, and an in vivo mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay.

Nelfinavir produced no effects on either male or female mating and fertility or embryo survival in rats at systemic exposures comparable to the human therapeutic exposure.

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category B

VIRACEPT should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women taking VIRACEPT.

There were no effects on fetal development or maternal toxicity when nelfinavir was administered to pregnant rats at systemic exposures (AUC) comparable to human exposure. Administration of nelfinavir to pregnant rabbits resulted in no fetal development effects up to a dose at which a slight decrease in maternal body weight was observed; however, even at the highest dose evaluated, systemic exposure in rabbits was significantly lower than human exposure. Additional studies in rats indicated that exposure to nelfinavir in females from mid-pregnancy through lactation had no effect on the survival, growth, and development of the offspring to weaning. Subsequent reproductive performance of these offspring was also not affected by maternal exposure to nelfinavir.

Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry (APR)

To monitor maternal-fetal outcomes of pregnant women exposed to VIRACEPT and other antiretroviral agents, an Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry has been established. Physicians are encouraged to register patients by calling (800) 258-4263.

Nursing Mothers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that HIV-infected mothers not breast-feed their infants to avoid risking postnatal transmission of HIV. Studies in lactating rats have demonstrated that nelfinavir is excreted in milk. Because of both the potential for HIV transmission and the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, mothers should be instructed not to breast-feed if they are receiving VIRACEPT.

Pediatric Use

The safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic profile and efficacy of VIRACEPT were evaluated in HIV infected pediatric patients from 2 to 13 years of age in multicenter clinical trials, Study 556 and PACTG 337 [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and Clinical Studies]. In patients less than 2 years of age, VIRACEPT was found to be safe at the doses studied, but a reliably effective dose could not be established [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, ADVERSE REACTIONS, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. The pharmacokinetic profile, safety and antiviral activity of VIRACEPT in adolescent patients 13 years and older is supported by data from the adult clinical trials where some trials allowed enrolment of subjects 13 years and older. Thus, the data for adolescents and adults were analyzed collectively [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of VIRACEPT did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects.

Hepatic Impairment

VIRACEPT should not be used in patients with either moderate or severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh B or C, score greater than or equal to 7) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. No dose adjustment of VIRACEPT is necessary for patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh A, score 5-6).

Renal Impairment

The safety and efficacy of VIRACEPT have not been established in patients with renal impairment.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 4/27/2015


Viracept - User Reviews

Viracept User Reviews

Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.

Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Viracept sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

WebMD Daily

Get breaking medical news.