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What is nifurtimox?
Nifurtimox is an antiprotozoal prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Chagas disease (American Trypanosomiasis), caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, in children who are less than 18 years of age and weigh at least 5.5 lbs. (2.5 kg).
Chagas disease can be an opportunistic infection (OI) of HIV. An OI is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems—such as people with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about OIs, read the HIVinfo What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet.
How is nifurtimox used in people with HIV?
The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV include recommendations on the use of nifurtimox to treat and prevent Chagas disease.
The recommended uses may not always be consistent with FDA-approved uses of nifurtimox. See the Guidelines for complete information on recommended uses of nifurtimox in adults and adolescents with HIV. Nifurtimox may have other recommended uses not listed above.
What should I tell my health care provider before using nifurtimox?What should I tell my health care provider before using nifurtimox?
What should I tell my health care provider before using nifurtimox?
Before using nifurtimox, tell your health care provider:
- If you are allergic to nifurtimox or any other medicines.
- About any medical conditions you have or have had.
- About anything that could affect your ability to take medicines, such as difficulty swallowing or remembering to take tablets.
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits of taking nifurtimox during pregnancy.
- If you are breast/chestfeeding or plan to breast/chestfeed. For people with HIV in the United States, the Guideline recommends speaking with your health care provider to discuss options for feeding your baby. People with suppressed viral load have a less than 1% chance of transmitting HIV to their baby via their own milk.
- About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Nifurtimox may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how nifurtimox works. Ask your health care provider if there are interactions between nifurtimox and the other medicines you take.
Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from nifurtimox. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.
How should I take nifurtimox?
Take nifurtimox according to your health care provider’s instructions. Your health care provider will tell you how much nifurtimox to take and when to take it. Before you start nifurtimox and each time you get a refill, read any printed information that comes with your medicine.
How should nifurtimox be stored?
- Store nifurtimox tablets at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
- Keep nifurtimox in the container that it came in and keep the container tightly closed. If the container has a small packet of drying agent (called a desiccant), do not remove it. The desiccant protects the medicine from moisture.
- Do not use nifurtimox if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.
- Throw away nifurtimox that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
- Keep nifurtimox and all medicines out of reach of children.
Where can I find more information about nifurtimox?
- Recommendations on the HIV-related uses of nifurtimox, from the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV.
- This Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Tablet (film- coated). The Patient Package Insert includes information for people using nifurtimox.
- The American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS) Patient Medication Information for nifurtimox available from MedlinePlus.
- Nifurtimox-related research studies, from ClinicalTrials.gov. (The ClinicalTrials.gov search can be modified so that you can get results that better match your interests. To learn more about the ClinicalTrials.gov search features, please see How to Search.)
Last Reviewed: February 8, 2023