An Overview of Reyataz (Atazanavir)
May 19, 2017
Brand Name: Reyataz
Atazanavir can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include heart rhythm problems, severe rash, liver problems, and life-threatening drug interactions.
Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of heart rhythm problems:
Stop taking atazanavir and contact your health care provider right away if you have a severe rash or a rash combined with any of the following symptoms:
In people with existing liver problems, including infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), atazanavir can cause worsening of liver problems. Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of liver problems:
While taking atazanavir, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.
What Is Atazanavir?
Atazanavir is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children 3 months of age and older who weigh at least 11 pounds (5 kg). Atazanavir is always used in combination with other HIV medicines.
Atazanavir belongs to a class (group) of HIV medicines called protease inhibitors (PIs). PIs block an HIV enzyme called protease. (An enzyme is a protein that starts or increases the speed of a chemical reaction.) By blocking protease, PIs prevent HIV from multiplying and can reduce the amount of HIV in the body.
HIV medicines can't cure HIV/AIDS, but taking a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV regimen) every day helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
What Should I Tell My Health Care Provider Before Taking Atazanavir?
Before taking atazanavir, tell your health care provider:
How Should I Take Atazanavir?
Atazanavir (brand name: Reyataz) comes in the following forms and strengths:
Atazanavir capsules are for use in adults and in children 6 years of age and older. Atazanavir oral powder must be taken with ritonavir and is for use in children 3 months of age and older who weigh at least 11 pounds (5 kg).
Take atazanavir according to your health care provider's instructions.
Take atazanavir with food. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not open the capsules.
Atazanavir oral powder must be mixed with food or liquid. For a child who can take food, mix the oral powder with food such as applesauce or yogurt, instead of a liquid (milk, infant formula, or water). If atazanavir oral powder is mixed with water, your child must eat food right after taking the oral powder and water mixture. For infants less than 6 months old and who cannot eat solid food or drink from a cup, first mix the oral powder with infant formula. Then use an oral dosing syringe to give the oral powder and formula mixture to the infant. (Ask your pharmacist for a dosing syringe.) (Give ritonavir right away after your child has taken atazanavir oral powder mixed with food or liquid.) For instructions on using atazanavir oral powder, see the Patient Information leaflet that comes with the medicine.
Always take atazanavir in combination with other HIV medicines.
If you take too much atazanavir, contact your health care provider or local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) right away, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
For more information on how to take atazanavir, see the FDA drug label from DailyMed. (DailyMed is a federal website that includes the most recent drug labels submitted to FDA.)
What Should I Do if I Forget a Dose?
If you miss a dose of atazanavir, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and just take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
What Side Effects Can Atazanavir Cause?
Atazanavir may cause side effects. Many side effects from HIV medicines, such as nausea or occasional dizziness, are manageable. See the AIDSinfo fact sheet on HIV Medicines and Side Effects for more information.
Some side effects of atazanavir can be serious. Serious side effects of atazanavir include heart rhythm problems, severe rash, liver problems, and life-threatening drug interactions. (See the WARNING box above.)
Other possible side effects of atazanavir include:
Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of atazanavir. To learn more about possible side effects of atazanavir, read the drug label or package insert or talk to your health care provider or pharmacist.
You can report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or online at www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/.
How Should Atazanavir Be Stored?
Where Can I Find More Information About Atazanavir?
More information about atazanavir is available:
The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Capsule (gelatin coated), oral powder.
This article was provided by AIDSinfo. Visit the AIDSinfo website to find out more about their activities and publications.
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