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Viramune (Nevirapine) - Description and Clinical Pharmacology



VIRAMUNE is the brand name for nevirapine, a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) with activity against Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1). Nevirapine is structurally a member of the dipyridodiazepinone chemical class of compounds.

The chemical name of nevirapine is 11-cyclopropyl-5,11-dihydro-4-methyl-6H-dipyrido [3,2-b:2',3'-e][1,4] diazepin-6-one. Nevirapine is a white to off-white crystalline powder with the molecular weight of 266.30 and the molecular formula C15H14N4O. Nevirapine has the following structural formula:

VIRAMUNE Tablets are for oral administration. Each tablet contains 200 mg of nevirapine and the inactive ingredients microcrystalline cellulose, lactose monohydrate, povidone, sodium starch glycolate, colloidal silicon dioxide, and magnesium stearate.

VIRAMUNE Oral Suspension is for oral administration. Each 5 mL of VIRAMUNE suspension contains 50 mg of nevirapine (as nevirapine hemihydrate). The suspension also contains the following excipients: carbomer 934P, methylparaben, propylparaben, sorbitol, sucrose, polysorbate 80, sodium hydroxide and purified water.


Mechanism of Action

Nevirapine is an antiviral drug [see Microbiology ].



Absorption and Bioavailability

Nevirapine is readily absorbed (greater than 90%) after oral administration in healthy volunteers and in adults with HIV-1 infection. Absolute bioavailability in 12 healthy adults following single-dose administration was 93 ± 9% (mean ± SD) for a 50 mg tablet and 91 ± 8% for an oral solution. Peak plasma nevirapine concentrations of 2 ± 0.4 mcg/mL (7.5 micromolar) were attained by 4 hours following a single 200 mg dose. Following multiple doses, nevirapine peak concentrations appear to increase linearly in the dose range of 200 to 400 mg/day. Steady-state trough nevirapine concentrations of 4.5 ± 1.9 mcg/mL (17 ± 7 micromolar), (n=242) were attained at 400 mg per day. Nevirapine tablets and suspension have been shown to be comparably bioavailable and interchangeable at doses up to 200 mg. When VIRAMUNE (200 mg) was administered to 24 healthy adults (12 female, 12 male), with either a high-fat breakfast (857 kcal, 50 g fat, 53% of calories from fat) or antacid (Maalox® 30 mL), the extent of nevirapine absorption (AUC) was comparable to that observed under fasting conditions. In a separate trial in HIV-1 infected subjects (n=6), nevirapine steady-state systemic exposure (AUCτ) was not significantly altered by didanosine, which is formulated with an alkaline buffering agent. VIRAMUNE may be administered with or without food, antacid or didanosine.


Nevirapine is highly lipophilic and is essentially nonionized at physiologic pH. Following intravenous administration to healthy adults, the apparent volume of distribution (Vdss) of nevirapine was 1.21 ± 0.09 L/kg, suggesting that nevirapine is widely distributed in humans. Nevirapine readily crosses the placenta and is also found in breast milk [see Use in Specific Populations ]. Nevirapine is about 60% bound to plasma proteins in the plasma concentration range of 1-10 mcg per mL. Nevirapine concentrations in human cerebrospinal fluid (n=6) were 45% (±5%) of the concentrations in plasma; this ratio is approximately equal to the fraction not bound to plasma protein.


In vivo trials in humans and in vitro studies with human liver microsomes have shown that nevirapine is extensively biotransformed via cytochrome P450 (oxidative) metabolism to several hydroxylated metabolites. In vitro studies with human liver microsomes suggest that oxidative metabolism of nevirapine is mediated primarily by cytochrome P450 (CYP) isozymes from the CYP3A and CYP2B6 families, although other isozymes may have a secondary role. In a mass balance/excretion trial in eight healthy male volunteers dosed to steady state with nevirapine 200 mg given twice daily followed by a single 50 mg dose of 14C-nevirapine, approximately 91.4 ± 10.5% of the radiolabeled dose was recovered, with urine (81.3 ± 11.1%) representing the primary route of excretion compared to feces (10.1 ± 1.5%). Greater than 80% of the radioactivity in urine was made up of glucuronide conjugates of hydroxylated metabolites. Thus cytochrome P450 metabolism, glucuronide conjugation, and urinary excretion of glucuronidated metabolites represent the primary route of nevirapine biotransformation and elimination in humans. Only a small fraction (less than 5%) of the radioactivity in urine (representing less than 3% of the total dose) was made up of parent compound; therefore, renal excretion plays a minor role in elimination of the parent compound.

Nevirapine is an inducer of hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP) metabolic enzymes 3A and 2B6. Nevirapine induces CYP3A and CYP2B6 by approximately 20-25%, as indicated by erythromycin breath test results and urine metabolites. Autoinduction of CYP3A and CYP2B6 mediated metabolism leads to an approximately 1.5- to 2-fold increase in the apparent oral clearance of nevirapine as treatment continues from a single dose to two-to-four weeks of dosing with 200-400 mg per day. Autoinduction also results in a corresponding decrease in the terminal phase half-life of nevirapine in plasma, from approximately 45 hours (single dose) to approximately 25-30 hours following multiple dosing with 200-400 mg per day.


Renal Impairment

HIV-1 seronegative adults with mild (CrCL 50-79 mL per min; n=7), moderate (CrCL 30-49 mL per min; n=6), or severe (CrCL less than 30 mL per min; n=4) renal impairment received a single 200 mg dose of nevirapine in a pharmacokinetic trial. These subjects did not require dialysis. The trial included six additional subjects with renal failure requiring dialysis.

In subjects with renal impairment (mild, moderate or severe), there were no significant changes in the pharmacokinetics of nevirapine. However, subjects requiring dialysis exhibited a 44% reduction in nevirapine AUC over a one-week exposure period. There was also evidence of accumulation of nevirapine hydroxy-metabolites in plasma in subjects requiring dialysis. An additional 200 mg dose following each dialysis treatment is indicated [see Dosage and Administration and Use in Specific Populations ].

Hepatic Impairment

In a steady-state trial comparing 46 subjects with mild (n=17; expansion of some portal areas; Ishak Score 1-2), moderate (n=20; expansion of most portal areas with occasional portal-to-portal and portal-to-central bridging; Ishak Score 3-4), or severe (n=9; marked bridging with occasional cirrhosis without decompensation indicating Child-Pugh A; Ishak Score 5-6) fibrosis as a measure of hepatic impairment, the multiple dose pharmacokinetic disposition of nevirapine and its five oxidative metabolites were not altered. However, approximately 15% of these subjects with hepatic fibrosis had nevirapine trough concentrations above 9,000 mcg per mL (2-fold the usual mean trough). Therefore, patients with hepatic impairment should be monitored carefully for evidence of drug-induced toxicity [see Warnings and Precautions ]. The subjects studied were receiving antiretroviral therapy containing VIRAMUNE 200 mg twice daily for at least 6 weeks prior to pharmacokinetic sampling, with a median duration of therapy of 3.4 years.

In a pharmacokinetic trial where HIV-1 negative cirrhotic subjects with mild (Child-Pugh A; n=6) or moderate (Child-Pugh B; n=4) hepatic impairment received a single 200 mg dose of nevirapine, a significant increase in the AUC of nevirapine was observed in one subject with Child-Pugh B and ascites suggesting that patients with worsening hepatic function and ascites may be at risk of accumulating nevirapine in the systemic circulation. Because nevirapine induces its own metabolism with multiple dosing, this single-dose trial may not reflect the impact of hepatic impairment on multiple-dose pharmacokinetics.

Do not administer nevirapine to patients with moderate or severe (Child-Pugh Class B or C, respectively) hepatic impairment [see Contraindications (4), Warnings and Precautions , and Use in Specific Populations ].


In the multinational 2NN trial, a population pharmacokinetic substudy of 1077 subjects was performed that included 391 females. Female subjects showed a 13.8% lower clearance of nevirapine than did men. Since neither body weight nor Body Mass Index (BMI) had an influence on the clearance of nevirapine, the effect of gender cannot solely be explained by body size.


An evaluation of nevirapine plasma concentrations (pooled data from several clinical trials) from HIV-1-infected subjects (27 Black, 24 Hispanic, 189 Caucasian) revealed no marked difference in nevirapine steady-state trough concentrations (median Cminss = 4.7 mcg/mL Black, 3.8 mcg/mL Hispanic, 4.3 mcg/mL Caucasian) with long-term nevirapine treatment at 400 mg per day. However, the pharmacokinetics of nevirapine have not been evaluated specifically for the effects of ethnicity.

Black subjects (n=80/group) in Trial 1100.1486 showed approximately 30% to 35% higher trough concentrations than Caucasian subjects (250-325 subjects/group) in both immediate-release VIRAMUNE and VIRAMUNE XR treatment groups over 96 weeks of treatment at 400 mg per day.

Geriatric Subjects

Nevirapine pharmacokinetics in HIV-1-infected adults do not appear to change with age (range 18–68 years); however, nevirapine has not been extensively evaluated in subjects beyond the age of 55 years [see Use in Specific Populations ].

Pediatric Subjects

Pharmacokinetic data for nevirapine have been derived from two sources: a 48-week pediatric trial in South Africa (BI Trial 1100.1368) involving 123 HIV-1 positive, antiretroviral-naïve subjects aged 3 months to 16 years; and a consolidated analysis of five Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (PACTG) protocols comprising 495 subjects aged 14 days to 19 years.

BI Trial 1100.1368 studied the safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of a weight-based and a body surface area (BSA)-based dosing regimen of nevirapine. In the weight-based regimen, pediatric subjects up to 8 years of age received a dose of 4 mg/kg once daily for two weeks followed by 7 mg per kg twice daily thereafter. Subjects 8 years and older were dosed 4 mg/kg once daily for two weeks followed by 4 mg/kg twice daily thereafter. In the BSA regimen, all pediatric subjects received 150 mg/m2 once daily for two weeks followed by 150 mg/m2 twice daily thereafter [see Use in Specific Populations and Adverse Reactions ]. Dosing of nevirapine at 150 mg/m2 BID (after a two-week lead-in of 150 mg/m2 QD) produced geometric mean or mean trough nevirapine concentrations between 4-6 mcg per mL (as targeted from adult data). In addition, the observed trough nevirapine concentrations were comparable between the two dosing regimens studied (BSA- and weight-based methods).

The consolidated analysis of Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (PACTG) protocols 245, 356, 366, 377, and 403 allowed for the evaluation of pediatric subjects less than 3 months of age (n=17). The plasma nevirapine concentrations observed were within the range observed in adults and the remainder of the pediatric population, but were more variable between subjects, particularly in the second month of age. For dose recommendations for pediatric patients [see Dosage and Administration ].

Drug Interactions [see Drug Interactions (7) ]

Nevirapine induces hepatic cytochrome P450 metabolic isoenzymes 3A and 2B6. Co-administration of VIRAMUNE and drugs primarily metabolized by CYP3A or CYP2B6 may result in decreased plasma concentrations of these drugs and attenuate their therapeutic effects.

While primarily an inducer of cytochrome P450 3A and 2B6 enzymes, nevirapine may also inhibit this system. Among human hepatic cytochrome P450s, nevirapine was capable in vitro of inhibiting the 10-hydroxylation of (R)-warfarin (CYP3A). The estimated Ki for the inhibition of CYP3A was 270 micromolar, a concentration that is unlikely to be achieved in patients as the therapeutic range is less than 25 micromolar. Therefore, nevirapine may have minimal inhibitory effect on other substrates of CYP3A.

Nevirapine does not appear to affect the plasma concentrations of drugs that are substrates of other CYP450 enzyme systems, such as 1A2, 2D6, 2A6, 2E1, 2C9, or 2C19.

Table 5 (see below) contains the results of drug interaction trials performed with VIRAMUNE and other drugs likely to be co-administered. The effects of VIRAMUNE on the AUC, Cmax, and Cmin of co-administered drugs are summarized.

Table 5 Drug Interactions: Changes in Pharmacokinetic Parameters for Co-administered Drug in the Presence of VIRAMUNE (All interaction trials were conducted in HIV-1 positive subjects)
§ = Cmin below detectable level of the assay
↑ = Increase, ↓ = Decrease, ⇔ = No Effect
a For information regarding clinical recommendations, see Drug Interactions (7) .
b Pediatric subjects ranging in age from 6 months to 12 years
c Parallel group design; n for VIRAMUNE+lopinavir/ritonavir, n for lopinavir/ritonavir alone.
d Parallel group design; n=23 for atazanavir/ritonavir + nevirapine, n=22 for atazanavir/ritonavir without nevirapine. Changes in atazanavir PK are relative to atazanavir/ritonavir 300/100 mg alone.
e Based on between-trial comparison.
f Based on historical controls.
Co-administered Drug Dose of Co-administered Drug Dose Regimen of VIRAMUNE n % Change of Co-administered Drug Pharmacokinetic Parameters (90% CI)
Antiretrovirals AUC Cmax Cmin
Atazanavir/Ritonavira, d 300/100 mg QD
day 4–13, then 400/100 mg QD, day 14–23
200 mg BID day 1-23. Subjects were treated with nevirapine prior to trial entry. 23 Atazanavir
300/100 mg

(↓52 to ↓29)

300/100 mg

(↓40 to ↓14)

300/100 mg

(↓80 to ↓60)

400/100 mg

(↓35 to ↑2)

400/100 mg

(↓15 to ↑24)

400/100 mg

(↓73 to ↓40)

Darunavir/Ritonavir e 400/100 mg BID 200 mg BID 8 ↑24
(↓3 to ↑57)

(↑14 to ↑73)

(↓21 to ↑32)

Didanosine 100-150 mg BID 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID x 14 days 18 §
Efavirenza 600 mg QD 200 mg QD x 14 days; 400 mg QD x 14 days 17 ↓28
(↓34 to ↓14)
(↓23 to ↑1)
(↓35 to ↓19)
Fosamprenavir 1400 mg BID 200 mg BID.  Subjects were treated with nevirapine prior to trial entry. 17 ↓33
(↓45 to ↓20)

(↓37 to ↓10)

(↓50 to ↓15)

Fosamprenavir/Ritonavir 700/100 mg BID 200 mg BID.  Subjects were treated with nevirapine prior to trial entry 17 ↓11
(↓23 to ↑3)

(↓32 to ↓4)

Indinavira 800 mg q8H 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID x 14 days 19 ↓31
(↓39 to ↓22)
(↓24 to ↓4)
(↓53 to ↓33)
Lopinavira, b 300/75 mg/m2 (lopinavir/
ritonavir) b
7 mg/kg or 4 mg/kg QD x 2 weeks; BID x 1 week 12, 15 c ↓22
(↓44 to ↑9)
(↓36 to ↑16)
(↓75 to ↓19)
Lopinavira 400/100 mg BID (lopinavir/ritonavir) 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID >1 year 22, 19 c ↓27
(↓47 to ↓2)
(↓38 to ↑5)
(↓72 to ↓26)
Maraviroc f 300 mg SD 200 mg BID 8 ↑1
(↓35 to ↑55)
(↓6 to ↑151)
Nelfinavira 750 mg TID 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID x 14 days 23 ↓32
(↓50 to ↑5)
Nelfinavir-M8 metabolite       ↓62
(↓70 to ↓53)
(↓68 to ↓48)
(↓74 to ↓55)
Ritonavir 600 mg BID 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID x 14 days 18
Stavudine 30-40 mg BID 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID x 14 days 22 §
Zalcitabine 0.125-0.25 mg TID 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID x 14 days 6 §
Zidovudine 100-200 mg TID 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID x 14 days 11 ↓28
(↓40 to ↓4)
(↓51 to ↑14)
Other Medications AUC Cmax Cmin
Clarithromycina 500 mg BID 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID x 14 days 15 ↓31
(↓38 to ↓24)
(↓31 to ↓14)
(↓70 to ↓36)
(↑16 to ↑73)
(↑21 to ↑80)
Ethinyl estradiola


0.035 mg
(as Ortho-Novum® 1/35)
200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID x 14 days
(↓33 to ↓3)
1 mg
(as Ortho-Novum® 1/35)
(↓30 to ↓7)
(↓27 to ↓3)
Depomedroxy-progesterone acetate 150 mg every 3 months 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID x 14 days 32
Fluconazole 200 mg QD 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID x 14 days 19
Ketoconazolea 400 mg QD 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID x 14 days 21 ↓72
(↓80 to ↓60)
(↓58 to ↓27)
Methadonea Individual Subject Dosing 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID ≥7 days 9 In a controlled pharmacokinetic trial with 9 subjects receiving chronic methadone to whom steady-state nevirapine therapy was added, the clearance of methadone was increased by 3-fold, resulting in symptoms of withdrawal, requiring dose adjustments in 10 mg segments, in 7 of the 9 subjects. Methadone did not have any effect on nevirapine clearance.
Rifabutina 150 or 300 mg QD 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID x 14 days 19 ↑17
(↓2 to ↑40)
(↑9 to ↑51)
(↓16 to ↑84)
(↓2 to ↑68)
(↓14 to ↑74)
Rifampina 600 mg QD 200 mg QD x 14 days; 200 mg BID x 14 days 14 ↑11
(↓4 to ↑28)

Because of the design of the drug interaction trials (addition of 28 days of VIRAMUNE therapy to existing HIV-1 therapy), the effect of the concomitant drug on plasma nevirapine steady-state concentrations was estimated by comparison to historical controls.

Administration of rifampin had a clinically significant effect on nevirapine pharmacokinetics, decreasing AUC and Cmax by greater than 50%. Administration of fluconazole resulted in an approximate 100% increase in nevirapine exposure, based on a comparison to historic data [see Drug Interactions (7) ]. The effect of other drugs listed in Table 5 on nevirapine pharmacokinetics was not significant. No significant interaction was observed when tipranavir was co-administered with low-dose ritonavir and nevirapine.


Mechanismof Action

Nevirapine is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) of HIV-1. Nevirapine binds directly to reverse transcriptase (RT) and blocks the RNA-dependent and DNA-dependent DNA polymerase activities by causing a disruption of the enzyme's catalytic site. The activity of nevirapine does not compete with template or nucleoside triphosphates. HIV-2 RT and eukaryotic DNA polymerases (such as human DNA polymerases α, β, γ, or δ) are not inhibited by nevirapine.


The antiviral activity of nevirapine has been measured in a variety of cell lines including peripheral blood mononuclear cells, monocyte-derived macrophages, and lymphoblastoid cell lines. In an assay using human embryonic kidney 293 cells, the median EC50 value (50% inhibitory concentration) of nevirapine was 90 nM against a panel of 2923 isolates of HIV-1 that were primarily (93%) clade B clinical isolates from the United States. The 99th percentile EC50 value was 470 nM in this trial. The median EC50 value was 63 nM (range 14-302 nM, n=29) against clinical isolates of HIV-1 clades A, B, C, D, F, G, and H, and circulating recombinant forms CRF01_AE, CRF02_AG and CRF12_BF. Nevirapine had no antiviral activity in cell culture against group O HIV-1 isolates (n=3) or HIV-2 isolates (n=3) replicating in cord blood mononuclear cells. Nevirapine in combination with efavirenz exhibited strong antagonistic anti-HIV-1 activity in cell culture and was additive to antagonistic with the protease inhibitor ritonavir or the fusion inhibitor enfuvirtide. Nevirapine exhibited additive to synergistic anti-HIV-1 activity in combination with the protease inhibitors amprenavir, atazanavir, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir and tipranavir, and the NRTIs abacavir, didanosine, emtricitabine, lamivudine, stavudine, tenofovir and zidovudine. The anti-HIV-1 activity of nevirapine was antagonized by the anti-HBV drug adefovir and by the anti-HCV drug ribavirin in cell culture.


HIV-1 isolates with reduced susceptibility (100- to 250-fold) to nevirapine emerge in cell culture. Genotypic analysis showed mutations in the HIV-1 RT gene encoding Y181C and/or V106A substitutions depending upon the virus strain and cell line employed. Time to emergence of nevirapine resistance in cell culture was not altered when selection included nevirapine in combination with several other NNRTIs.

Phenotypic and genotypic changes in HIV-1 isolates from treatment-naïve subjects receiving either nevirapine (n=24) or nevirapine and zidovudine (n=14) were monitored in Phase 1 and 2 trials ranging from 1 to 12 weeks or longer. After 1 week of nevirapine monotherapy, isolates from 3/3 subjects had decreased susceptibility to nevirapine in cell culture. One or more of the RT mutations resulting in amino acid substitutions K103N, V106A, V108I, Y181C, Y188C, and G190A were detected in HIV-1 isolates from some subjects as early as 2 weeks after therapy initiation. By week eight of nevirapine monotherapy, 100% of the subjects tested (n=24) had HIV-1 isolates with a greater than 100-fold decrease in susceptibility to nevirapine in cell culture compared to baseline, and had one or more of the nevirapine-associated RT resistance substitutions. Nineteen of these subjects (80%) had isolates with Y181C substitutions regardless of dose.

Genotypic analysis of isolates from antiretroviral-naïve subjects experiencing virologic failure (n=71) receiving nevirapine once daily (n=25) or twice daily (n=46) in combination with lamivudine and stavudine (trial 2NN) for 48 weeks showed that isolates from 8/25 and 23/46 subjects, respectively, contained one or more of the following NNRTI resistance-associated substitutions: Y181C, K101E, G190A/S, K103N, V106A/M, V108I, Y188C/L, A98G, F227L, and M230L.

For trial 1100.1486, genotypic analysis was performed for baseline and on-therapy isolates from 23 and 34 subjects who experienced virologic failure in the VIRAMUNE XR and immediate-release VIRAMUNE treatment group, respectively. Nevirapine resistance-associated substitutions developed in the on-therapy isolates of 78% (18/23) of the subjects who had virologic failures in the VIRAMUNE XR treatment group and 88% (30/34) of the subjects in the immediate-release VIRAMUNE treatment group, respectively. The Y181C nevirapine resistance-associated substitution was found alone or in combination with other nevirapine resistance-associated substitutions (K101E, K103N, V106A, V108I, V179D/E/I, Y188 C/F/H/L/N, G190A, P225H, F227L, M230L) in isolates from 14 subjects failing VIRAMUNE XR treatment and 25 subjects failing immediate-release VIRAMUNE treatment. On-therapy isolates from 1 subject in VIRAMUNE XR treatment group developed a novel amino acid substitution Y181I and isolates from another subject in the immediate-release VIRAMUNE treatment group developed a novel amino acid substitution Y188N. Phenotypic analysis showed that Y188N and Y181I substitutions conferred 103- and 22-fold reductions in susceptibility to nevirapine, respectively.


Rapid emergence of HIV-1 strains which are cross-resistant to NNRTIs has been observed in cell culture. Nevirapine-resistant HIV-1 isolates were cross-resistant to the NNRTIs delavirdine, efavirenz and etravirine. The Y188N conferred 22- and 7-fold reductions in susceptibility to delavirdine and efavirenz, respectively, but showed no decrease in susceptibility to etravirine. Similarly, the Y181I substitution reduced susceptibility to delavirdine and etravirine 3- and 8-fold, respectively, but did not reduce susceptibility to efavirenz. However, nevirapine-resistant isolates were susceptible to the NRTIs ddI and ZDV. Similarly, ZDV-resistant isolates were susceptible to nevirapine in cell culture.


Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility


Long-term carcinogenicity studies in mice and rats were carried out with nevirapine. Mice were dosed with 0, 50, 375 or 750 mg/kg/day for two years. Hepatocellular adenomas and carcinomas were increased at all doses in males and at the two high doses in females. In studies in which rats were administered nevirapine at doses of 0, 3.5, 17.5 or 35 mg/kg/day for two years, an increase in hepatocellular adenomas was seen in males at all doses and in females at the high dose. The systemic exposure (based on AUCs) at all doses in the two animal studies was lower than that measured in humans at the 200 mg twice daily dose. The mechanism of the carcinogenic potential is unknown.


However, in genetic toxicology assays, nevirapine showed no evidence of mutagenic or clastogenic activity in a battery of in vitro and in vivo studies. These included microbial assays for gene mutation (Ames: Salmonella strains and E. coli), mammalian cell gene mutation assay (CHO/HGPRT), cytogenetic assays using a Chinese hamster ovary cell line and a mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay following oral administration. Given the lack of genotoxic activity of nevirapine, the relevance to humans of hepatocellular neoplasms in nevirapine-treated mice and rats is not known.

Impairment of Fertility

In reproductive toxicology studies, evidence of impaired fertility was seen in female rats at doses providing systemic exposure, based on AUC, approximately equivalent to that provided with the recommended clinical dose of VIRAMUNE.

Animal Toxicology and/or Pharmacology

Animal studies have shown that nevirapine is widely distributed to nearly all tissues and readily crosses the blood-brain barrier.


Adult Patients

Trial BI 1090 was a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial in 2249 HIV-1 infected subjects with less than 200 CD4+ cells/mm3 at screening. Initiated in 1995, BI 1090 compared treatment with VIRAMUNE + lamivudine + background therapy versus lamivudine + background therapy in NNRTI-naïve subjects. Treatment doses were VIRAMUNE, 200 mg daily for two weeks followed by 200 mg twice daily or placebo, and lamivudine, 150 mg twice daily. Other antiretroviral agents were given at approved doses. Initial background therapy (in addition to lamivudine) was one NRTI in 1309 subjects (58%), two or more NRTIs in 771 (34%), and PIs and NRTIs in 169 (8%). The subjects (median age 36.5 years, 70% Caucasian, 79% male) had advanced HIV-1 infection, with a median baseline CD4+ cell count of 96 cells/mm3 and a baseline HIV-1 RNA of 4.58 log10 copies per mL (38,291 copies per mL). Prior to entering the trial, 45% had previously experienced an AIDS-defining clinical event. Eighty-nine percent had antiretroviral treatment prior to entering the trial. BI 1090 was originally designed as a clinical endpoint trial. Prior to unblinding the trial, the primary endpoint was changed to proportion of subjects with HIV-1 RNA less than 50 copies per mL and not previously failed at 48 weeks. Treatment response and outcomes are shown in Table 6.

Table 6 BI 1090 Outcomes Through 48 Weeks
1 including change to open-label nevirapine
2 includes withdrawal of consent, lost to follow-up, non-compliance with protocol, other administrative reasons
Outcome VIRAMUNE (N=1121)
Responders at 48 weeks: HIV-1 RNA <50 copies/mL 18 2
Treatment Failure 82 98
    Never suppressed viral load   45     66  
    Virologic failure after response   7     4  
    CDC category C event or death   10     11  
    Added antiretroviral therapy1 while <50 copies/mL   5     1  
    Discontinued trial therapy due to AE   7     6  
    Discontinued trial <48 weeks2   9     10  

The change from baseline in CD4+ cell count through one year of therapy was significantly greater for the VIRAMUNE group compared to the placebo group for the overall trial population (64 cells/mm3 versus 22 cells/mm3, respectively), as well as for subjects who entered the trial as treatment-naïve or having received only ZDV (85 cells/mm3 versus 25 cells/mm3, respectively).

At two years into the trial, 16% of subjects on VIRAMUNE had experienced class C CDC events as compared to 21% of subjects on the control arm.

Trial BI 1046 (INCAS) was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, three-arm trial with 151 HIV-1 infected subjects with CD4+ cell counts of 200-600 cells/mm3 at baseline. BI 1046 compared treatment with VIRAMUNE+zidovudine+didanosine to VIRAMUNE+zidovudine and zidovudine+didanosine. Treatment doses were VIRAMUNE at 200 mg daily for two weeks followed by 200 mg twice daily or placebo, zidovudine at 200 mg three times daily, and didanosine at 125 or 200 mg twice daily (depending on body weight). The subjects had mean baseline HIV-1 RNA of 4.41 log10 copies/mL (25,704 copies per mL) and mean baseline CD4+ cell count of 376 cells/mm3. The primary endpoint was the proportion of subjects with HIV-1 RNA less than 400 copies per mL and not previously failed at 48 weeks. The virologic responder rates at 48 weeks were 45% for subjects treated with VIRAMUNE+zidovudine+didanosine, 19% for subjects treated with zidovudine+didanosine, and 0% for subjects treated with VIRAMUNE+zidovudine.

CD4+ cell counts in the VIRAMUNE+ZDV+ddI group increased above baseline by a mean of 139 cells/mm3 at one year, significantly greater than the increase of 87 cells/mm3 in the ZDV+ddI subjects. The VIRAMUNE+ZDV group mean decreased by 6 cells/mm3 below baseline.

Pediatric Patients

The pediatric safety and efficacy of VIRAMUNE was examined in BI Trial 1100.1368, an open-label, randomized clinical trial performed in South Africa in which 123 HIV-1 infected treatment-naïve subjects between 3 months and 16 years of age received VIRAMUNE oral suspension for 48 weeks. Subjects were divided into 4 age groups (3 months to less than 2 years, 2 to less than 7 years, 7 to less than 12 years, and 12 to less than or equal to 16 years) and randomized to receive one of two VIRAMUNE doses, determined by 2 different dosing methods [body surface area (150 mg/m2) and weight-based dosing (4 or 7 mg per kg)] in combination with zidovudine and lamivudine [see Adverse Reactions , Use in Specific Populations , and Clinical Pharmacology ]. The total daily dose of VIRAMUNE did not exceed 400 mg in either regimen. There were 66 subjects in the body surface area (BSA) dosing group and 57 subjects in the weight-based (BW) dosing group.

Baseline demographics included: 49% male; 81% Black and 19% Caucasian; 4% had previous exposure to ARVs. Subjects had a median baseline HIV-1 RNA of 5.45 log10 copies per mL and a median baseline CD4+ cell count of 527 cells/mm3 (range 37-2279). One hundred and five (85%) completed the 48-week period while 18 (15%) discontinued prematurely. Of the subjects who discontinued prematurely, 9 (7%) discontinued due to adverse reactions and 3 (2%) discontinued due to virologic failure. Overall the proportion of subjects who achieved and maintained an HIV-1 RNA less than 400 copies per mL at 48 weeks was 47% (58/123).

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