Enfuvirtide

Adult Medication

This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.

Brand Names: US

Fuzeon

Brand Names: Canada

Fuzeon

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat HIV infection.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to enfuvirtide or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this drug.

This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

For all patients taking this drug:

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this drug affects you.
  • Do not run out of this drug.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you smoke, talk with your doctor.
  • If you have a bleeding problem or take a blood thinner, talk with your doctor. The risk of bleeding after an injection may be higher.
  • It is common to have reactions where the injection is given. This includes pain, redness, itching, bruising, and swelling. Call your doctor if any of these effects are severe, bother you, or do not go away.
  • Nerve problems have happened when this drug was given with a certain device (Biojector 2000 needle-free device). This includes nerve pain or a burning, numbness, or tingling feeling. These effects can last up to 6 months. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
  • This drug does not stop the spread of diseases like HIV or hepatitis that are passed through blood or having sex. Do not have any kind of sex without using a latex or polyurethane condom. Do not share needles or other things like toothbrushes or razors. Talk with your doctor.
  • This drug is not a cure for HIV. Stay under the care of your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.

Children:

  • If giving to your child, the dose of this drug may need to be changed as your child’s weight changes. Have your child’s weight checked often. Talk with the doctor before changing your child’s dose.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Fast breathing.
  • Eye irritation.
  • Changes in your immune system can happen when you start taking drugs to treat HIV. If you have an infection that you did not know you had, it may show up when you take this drug. Tell your doctor right away if you have any new signs after you start this drug, even after taking it for several months. This includes signs of infection like fever, sore throat, weakness, cough, or shortness of breath.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly kidney problems have happened with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you are unable to pass urine or if you have blood in the urine or a change in the amount of urine passed.
  • A nervous system problem called Guillain-Barre syndrome has happened with this drug. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have weakness or a burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Some people taking this drug may get pneumonia more often than people not taking this drug. It is not clear if this effect is caused by this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, or trouble breathing.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Stomach pain or diarrhea.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Not hungry.
  • Weight loss.
  • Sinus irritation.
  • Pain in arms or legs.
  • Flu-like signs.
  • Dry mouth.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Keep taking this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • It is important that you do not miss or skip a dose of this drug during treatment.
  • It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin on the top of the thigh, belly area, or upper arm.
  • If you will be giving yourself the shot, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
  • Follow how to use as you have been told by the doctor or read the package insert.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • This drug needs to be mixed before use. Follow how to mix as you were told by the doctor.
  • Do not shake.
  • Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
  • Do not use if solution changes color.
  • If solution is foamy or jelly-like, let sit for more time to let the drug to dissolve.
  • Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
  • Do not give into skin that is tattooed or into irritated skin. This includes moles, scars, bruises, and burns. Do not give into areas near the elbow, knee, or groin.
  • Do not give into skin within 2 inches of the belly button.
  • Each vial is for one use only. Throw away any part not used after the dose is given.
  • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Use right away after mixing or you may store in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date

2019-02-05

Copyright

© 2019 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

Last Updated