Although delavirdine was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1997, its efficacy is lower than other NNRTIs, especially efavirenz, and it also has an inconvenient schedule. These factors have led the U.S. DHHS not to recommend its use as part of initial therapy. The risk of cross-resistance across the NNRTI class, as well as its complex set of drug interactions, make the place of delavirdine in second-line and salvage therapy unclear, and it is currently rarely used.
The most common adverse event is moderate to severe rash, which occurs in up to 20% of patients. Other common adverse events include fatigue, headache and nausea. Liver toxicity has also been reported.