The effects of ART medicines on developing babies during the first
3 months of pregnancy are not well known. Unless the woman is already
taking ART medicines for her HIV, it may be better to start giving them after the third
month of preganancy. Since the medicines provide protection for a baby against HIV,
if possible a breastfeeding mother should continue taking ART medicines the whole
time she is breastfeeding.
Efavirenz is used in combination with
other medicines to treat HIV.
Important: If EFV is given to a person who
also taking rifampicin for tuberculosis (TB),
a higher dose of EFV may be needed
(800 mg instead of 600 mg).
To treat HIV, you must give EFV with
other medicines. It is important to take
this medicine every day, in the
Side effects: EFV may cause dizziness,
confusion, mood changes, and strange
dreams. These will usually go away after
2 to 4 weeks. If they do not, or if they
get worse, see a health worker.
Seek care immediately for signs of
allergy: red or purple areas on the skin,
rashes or other spreading skin
problems, fever, mental health
Often comes in: capsules of 50 mg,
100 mg, 200 mg; Tablets of 600 mg; oral
solution of 150 mg/ 5 ml.
How to use:
For HIV (see p. 494), give 600 mg once
a day, along with other medicines.
WARNING: Women in the first
3 months of pregnancy should
not take EFV. It can cause birth
defects. Women taking EFV who
may become pregnant should
consider switching to a different
Lamivudine is used in combination with
other medicines to treat HIV, and to
prevent passing HIV to a baby.
Important: To treat HIV, you must give
3TC with other medicines. It is
important to take this medicine every
day, in the recommended dose.
Side effects: Side effects are rare.
Seek care immediately for belly pain,
nausea, vomiting, extreme tiredness
with difficulty breathing, or muscle pain.
Often comes in: tablet of 150 mg; oral
solution of 50 mg per 5 ml.
How to use:
For HIV (see p. 494), give 150 mg by
mouth 2 times a day, or 300 mg once a
day, along with other medicines.
To prevent HIV from passing to a baby
during birth (see p. 495), give
the mother 150 mg as labor starts,
every 12 hours during labor, and, if she is
breastfeeding, every 12 hours for 7 days
after the baby is born.
A Book for Midwives (2010)