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Medical News

Drug for Treating HIV May Raise Heart Attack Risk, Manufacturer Warns

June 24, 2008

On Monday, GlaxoSmithKline and Health Canada warned that the HIV drug abacavir and products that contain abacavir have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack. The concerns were raised by a recent Lancet study, GSK said.

Patients on abacavir-containing products -- including Ziagen, Kivexa, and Trizivir -- should not stop taking their medication without first consulting their doctor, GSK’s release said. Patients should also talk to their physician about any pre-existing serious cardiovascular diseases, GSK said.

"Health care professionals thoroughly consider the overall benefit versus the risk of a medication for each individual patient before prescribing," said GSK, which has also sent notification to providers.

Health Canada is evaluating the new safety data and will advise Canadians if additional measures are required. Serious or unexpected side effects in patients taking abacavir-containing products can be reported to GSK, 1-800-387-7374, or Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345. To read GSK’s letter to providers, visit this link.

The study referenced, "Use of Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors and Risk of Myocardial Infarction in HIV-Infected Patients Enrolled in the D:A:D Study: A Multi-Cohort Collaboration," was published in Lancet (2008;371:1417-1426).

Back to other news for June 2008

Adapted from:
Canadian Press

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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