Atazanavir review

Atazanavir, popularly known as Reyataz as marketed by Bristol Myers, is an antiretroviral drug used in the treatment of HIV infections. It is a protease inhibitor-type drug that can be used in conjunction with a variety of other drugs in HIV treatment. Reyataz capsules are available in 100mg, 150mg, 200mg and 300mg capsules. Atazanavir is unique because it can be used to treat HIV mutations that have grown immune to other forms of treatment and drugs.

However, atazanavir cannot cure HIV infections or prevent its spread. It also does not prevent other diseases and infections which may be acquired as a secondary effect of an HIV infection.

Atazanavir can be given to patients 6 years old and older as part of a comprehensive HIV treatment program. It has been approved by the FDA in 2003 as an antiretroviral (ARV) drug for HIV patients. However, when to start ARV treatment will depend on your doctor or health worker’s analysis of your condition and reaction to current and previous treatments. Continual treatment with atazanavir in conjunction with other ARVs can significantly lower viral load count and progressively improve health conditions.

Atazanavir is designed to be taken once a day, with the recommended dose being 300 mg taken with 100 mg of ritonavir, another ARV drug. The ritonavir acts as a “booster” for the atazanavir dose, but for patients who cannot take ritonavir for one reason or another, a 400 mg dose of atazanavir may be recommended by your doctor.

Atazanavir should be taken regularly in order to prevent HIV levels from rising again, which may increae the risk for drug resistance. It is then recommended to take atazanavir with the same meal or snack everyday. Not only does this make it easier to take it regularly, but the drug works better when taken with food.

Upon missing a dose, take the dose as soon as possible and take the next dose as originally scheduled. Do not double the dosage to make up for a skipped dose. Make sure any other accompanying medication is also taken properly and on time.

Dosage for children under 6 depends on their weight and history of treatment.

Common side effects of this drug include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, stomachache, head aches, fever, dizziness and trouble sleeping. If these effects persist, consult your doctor.

Rarer and more serious side effects of atazanavir may include arrhythmia, rashes which may be accompanied by swelling, flu-like symptoms and fever, and jaundice. Atazanavir may also cause and aggravate diabetes in some cases. Kidney stones may also develop and cause pain while passing urine, blood in urine and pains in the side. Gallstones and other gallbladder conditions have also been observed when taking the drug. Consult with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur.

Inform you doctor of any current or past hepatitis B or C infections, as well other liver disorders. Atazanavir may complicate these existing conditions. It is not currently known whether atazanavir can be passed through breastmilk, but HIV can be so it is advisable to avoid breastfeeding. Those taking medication for blood pressure and heart conditions should also consult their doctors as atazanavir may increase their effects.

Atazanavir has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of atazanavir

• Molecular formula of atazanavir is C38H52N6O7
• Chemical IUPAC Name is methyl [1-[[3-hydroxy-4-[(2-methoxycarbonylamino-3,3- dimethyl-butanoyl)amino- [(4-pyridin-2-ylphenyl)methyl]amino]-1- phenyl-butan-2-yl]carbamoyl]-2,2-dimethyl-propyl]aminoformate
• Molecular weight is 704.856 g/mol
Atazanavir available : 100mg tablets, 150mg tablets, 200mg tablets and 300mg tablets

Brand name(s): Latazanavir, Zrivada

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