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Nelfinavir (Viracept) Uses, Dosage and Side Effects


What is Nelfinavir (Viracept)?

Nelfinavir is a form of antiviral medicine utilized in providing medical care to individuals suffering the severe impacts brought about by HIV. It is specifically designed to control the growth of the infection within the body. Although not considered a cure, this medicine is highly capable of reducing someone’s risk of acquiring more health complications. Its branded version is called Viracept.

Antiretroviral drugs are beneficial in decreasing the amount of HIV within the body. The availability of these drugs helps infected individuals to live normally despite the infection. Nelfinavir is one of the most common ARV drugs highly capable of blocking HIV’s objectives, such as replicating.

What is it used for?

As mentioned, when Nelfinavir is administered immediately after diagnosis, an individual is prevented from having other health concerns induced by HIV. Note that Nelfinavir is made to treat the said infection and assist the body’s immune system in protecting the body amidst hostile infection.

How does Viracept work?

The treatment involving the human immunodeficiency virus is associated with different drug classifications. For Nelfinavir, this drug is known to be a member of protease inhibitors. The following includes the major functions of the said drug group:

  • It blocks HIV from multiplying.
  • It inhibits the viruses’ function to replicate.
  • It assists the body’s immunity in fighting off the infection.
  • It helps in lowering the volume of the virus within the body.
  • It inhibits the protein protease, which HIV needs to thrive.

When treatment involving Viracept is given urgently, expect the drug to do its functions effectively. However, the dosage will also depend on the healthcare professional’s assessment. When you receive a prescription, you need to follow its instructions to be guided during your treatment.


Correlative to other antiviral medicines, Nelfinavir is also following a detailed dosage for individuals to observe on a daily basis. The dosage is based on the patient’s age, weight, and medical history.

For adult’s dosage:

  • 1 tablet orally to be consumed twice/thrice on a daily basis
  • This follows a 750 or 1250 mg frequency.

For children’s dosage:

  • 1 tablet orally to be consumed twice/thrice on a daily basis
  • The dosage will depend on their weight.

Note: If children are not capable of consuming tablets, the oral powder is available for you to use. Simply dissolve the powder into water, and they can drink it comfortably.

How to take it?

Patients can choose whether to use the tablet form or the oral powder. For children, the recommended form for them is oral powder, especially for babies or infants.

Note that antiviral agents are consumed through the mouth. However, there are some actions that you need to avoid, especially when taking the tablets. First, do not break or chew it. Swallow it immediately. Secondly, it is better to consume it with food to avoid episodes of a stomachache.

Some people may forget to consume their medicine for the day. To avoid consuming dual doses for the day or to prevent skipping doses, it is better to have something to keep you notified. Alarms are a good choice for this concern, which can help you alert that it’s time to consume your dose for the day.

Warnings and Precautions

During treatment, drug interaction can happen. It occurs when you are taking another form of medicine for another treatment. To ensure that you don’t experience this, during your discussion with the healthcare professional, make sure that you tell of other medicines that you are consuming at present.

Allergy to this medicine can be fatal. If you have known hypersensitivity to Nelfinavir, avoid using it. During your discussion with the healthcare professional, you should talk about your allergy to Viracept and its ingredients.

Nelfinavir Side Effects

The adverse reactions involving Nelfinavir can be both mild and severe. For this part, you will learn which of these side effects require and do not require immediate medical care.

List of side effects that demand urgent medical help:

These are the types of adverse reactions where urgent medical help is necessary. Some people who experience them are admitted to the hospital.

  • Dark-coloured urine or stools
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Recurrent fever
  • Dehydration
  • Unexplained thirst and hunger
  • Severe nausea
  • Painful sensation during urination
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)

List of side effects that DO NOT demand urgent medical help:

These are the types of adverse reactions where urgent medical help is NOT necessary. These side effects are manageable at home.

  • Mild diarrhea
  • Belching or bloating
  • Moving difficulty
  • Irritability
  • Sleeping problems
  • Concentration problems
  • Heartburn
  • Lack of pleasure

Aside from the prescription provided to you, make sure that you also visit your healthcare professional regularly. By doing so, you will know how your body progress and to keep noted of your treatment journey.

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