Efavirenz is a drug that inhibits the growth of viruses. It is used to treat HIV infections and AIDS. HIV treatments always involve administering a combination of several drugs.
Efavirenz and the benefit of DNA analysis
Efavirenz normally has relatively mild side effects, such as rashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, tiredness, headaches, anxiety and depression.
In around 1% of all people, however, a treatment with efavirenz triggers severe side effects, which can be grouped under the heading of hypersensitivity reactions. These can even be life-threatening.
The risk of side effects can be predicted to some extent on the basis of your genes. Preventive DNA analysis can therefore be an important tool in optimising your medication.
Efavirenz and the enzyme CYP2B6
Efavirenz is processed within the body primarily by the enzyme CYP2B6. The activity of this enzyme can vary considerably depending on your genetic predisposition, which means the efficacy of efavirenz and the risk of side effects can also differ from person to person.
Information about your genetic predisposition may therefore provide grounds for extra vigilance in relation to a treatment with efavirenz.
Read more about CYP2B6 enzyme »