A Revolutionary New Way to Fight HIV/AIDS: CCR5 Inhibitors
Selzentry, the First CCR5 Inhibitor
In August 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first CCR5 inhibitor, Selzentry, for use in treatment-experienced patients. Studies of Selzentry have mostly focused on people who have been on a lot of different HIV treatment regimens and who have CCR5-tropic HIV. These studies have shown that, when Selzentry is taken in combination with other HIV drugs, the regimen is far more likely to work than if a person took those other HIV drugs without Selzentry.
Selzentry is a pill that should be taken twice a day. It is available in 150-mg and 300-mg tablets. The proper dose will depend on what other HIV medications you're taking, because different HIV meds can affect how well Selzentry works in your body (and vice versa). For example, if you take a protease inhibitor, such as Prezista (darunavir, TMC114) or Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir), your doctor or pharmacist will probably give you a lower dose of Selzentry. If you take Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC), Intelence (etravirine, TMC125) or Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin), your doctor or pharmacist might give you a higher dose of Selzentry.
HIV medications aren't the only type of drugs that Selzentry may interact with. So, as always, you should make sure your doctor knows about all of the medicines and supplements you use -- whether they're prescription meds or over-the-counter -- before you get a prescription for Selzentry.
As far as researchers know, there are no special risks associated with taking Selzentry while using tobacco, alcohol or recreational drugs. However, all of these substances can harm your body and interfere with your ability to take your HIV meds consistently, so it's also important for you and your doctor to discuss any substances you use before you start Selzentry.
Research on Selzentry to date shows that the drug only causes mild side effects, and even those only occur in some people. People taking Selzentry may experience cough, fever, dizziness, headache, low blood pressure, nausea and bladder irritation.
Fortunately, Selzentry has not been associated with body shape changes or cholesterol/triglyceride problems. However, Selzentry should be used with caution in people who have liver or heart disease, since it can potentially worsen these problems; be sure to talk this over with your doctor.
Also, it's worth noting that Selzentry was approved pretty recently, so we're far from knowing everything there is to know about the drug and its possible side effects. It's also the first CCR5 ever approved on the planet, so there may still be some questions about it. But there are other CCR5 inhibitors under development that have shown excellent results, so this is an exciting new type of medication that most health care providers are learning to use.
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This article was provided by TheBody.