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Prescribing Efavirenz to Children and Treatment Tips

Efavirenz Dosage for Children

The recommended dose of efavirenz for treating HIV or AIDS in children three years of age and older is based on weight, as follows:
 
  • 7.7 to 10.9 pounds -- 100 mg once daily
  • 11 to 16.4 pounds -- 150 mg once daily
  • 16.5 to 32.9 pounds -- 200 mg once daily
  • 33 to 43 .9 pounds -- 250 mg once daily
  • 44 to 54.9 pounds -- 300 mg once daily
  • 55 to 71.4 pounds -- 350 mg once daily
  • 71.5 to 87.9 pounds -- 400 mg once daily
  • 88 pounds and over -- 600 mg once daily (the usual adult dose).
 
For young children (three months to three years of age), the medication can be given by opening the capsules and mixing them with a small amount of soft food like applesauce, yogurt, or grape jelly. If this is not an option (if the child is too young to reliably eat solid food), then room-temperature infant formula can be used instead.
 
Add the medication to 10 mL of liquid formula in a medicine cup, mix with a small spoon, then draw up the medication using a 10-mL oral syringe. When mixing with food or formula, after giving the dose to the child, add a portion of food or formula to the container, stir, and then feed the food or formula to the child to make sure no medication remains in the container.
 

General Information on Dosing With Efavirenz

Considerations for people taking efavirenz include the following:
 
  • The medication comes in tablet and capsule forms. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
     
  • Efavirenz should be taken on an empty stomach, preferably at bedtime.
 
  • For young children (age three months to three years), the capsules can be opened and the contents mixed with soft food (like applesauce, grape jelly, or yogurt). Baby formula can be used instead, but only for children who cannot yet reliably eat soft food. No other food or formula should be given for two hours afterward.
 
  • Try to take efavirenz at the same time every day to maintain an even level in your blood.
     
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It is very important that you closely follow your healthcare provider's instructions about taking efavirenz. Missing doses can increase the chance of the virus developing resistance to the medication, thereby making it less effective.
     
  • If you are unsure about anything related to your efavirenz dosage, talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Do not stop taking the drug without first discussing it with your healthcare provider.
     

Efavirenz for HIV/AIDS

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