Drug: ATAZANAVIR - ORAL (A-ta-ZAN-a-vir)

This drug is used with other HIV medications to help control HIV infection. It helps to decrease the amount of HIV in your body so your immune system can work better. This lowers your chance of getting HIV complications (such as new infections, cancer) and improves your quality of life.Atazanavir belongs to a class of drugs known as protease inhibitors. It may be given with ritonavir, another protease inhibitor, to increase ("boost") the levels of atazanavir. This helps atazanavir work better.Atazanavir is not a cure for HIV infection. To decrease your risk of spreading HIV disease to others, do all of the following: (1) continue to take all HIV medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor, (2) always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity, and (3) do not share personal items (such as needles/syringes, toothbrushes, and razors) that may have contacted blood or other body fluids. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.OTHER This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.This medication may also be used in combination with other HIV medications to reduce the risk of getting HIV infection after contact with the virus. Consult your doctor for more details.

Source: http://www.medicinenet.com

Headache or nausea may occur. If either of these effects persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Some people may experience worsening of a previous medical condition (such as an old infection) as their immune systems improve, or develop new conditions because their immune systems have become overactive. This reaction may occur at any time (soon after starting HIV treatment or many months later). Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: unexplained weight loss, persistent muscle aches/weakness, joint pain, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet/arms/legs, severe tiredness, vision changes, severe/persistent headaches, signs of infection (such as fever, chills, trouble breathing, cough, non-healing skin sores), signs of an overactive thyroid (such as irritability, nervousness, heat intolerance, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, bulging eyes, unusual growth in the neck/thyroid known as a goiter), signs of a certain nerve problem known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (such as difficulty breathing/swallowing/moving your eyes, drooping face, paralysis, slurred speech).Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: yellowing eyes/skin, increased thirst/urination, dizziness, lightheadedness, signs of a kidney stone (such as pain in side/back/abdomen, painful urination, blood in the urine).Changes in body fat may occur while you are taking this medication (such as increased fat in the upper back and stomach areas, decreased fat in the arms and legs). The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor, as well as the possible use of exercise to reduce this side effect.Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: signs of a heart attack (such as chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating).Atazanavir can commonly cause a rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Therefore, get medical help right away if you develop any rash.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Source: http://www.medicinenet.com

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company. Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
Last Editorial Review: 4/16/2014

Source: http://www.medicinenet.com

See also How to Use section.Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.Atazanavir interacts with many medications. One product that may interact with this drug is: indinavir.Other medications can affect the removal of atazanavir from your body, which may affect how atazanavir works. Examples include boceprevir, carbamazepine, etravirine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, nevirapine, rifamycins (such as rifampin), St. John's wort, voriconazole, among others.Atazanavir can slow down the removal of other medications from your body, which may affect how they work. Examples of affected drugs include some alpha blockers (such as alfuzosin), certain benzodiazepines (midazolam, triazolam), cisapride, ergot alkaloids (such as dihydroergotamine, ergotamine), fluticasone, irinotecan, lurasidone, pimozide, drugs to treat erectile dysfunction-ED or pulmonary hypertension (such as sildenafil, vardenafil), certain "statin" cholesterol drugs (lovastatin, simvastatin), salmeterol, among others.Prescription and nonprescription drugs to treat heartburn, indigestion, or ulcers (including H2 blockers such as famotidine, proton pump inhibitors such as lansoprazole/omeprazole) reduce stomach acid and decrease the absorption of atazanavir. This may prevent atazanavir from working well. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to use these medications safely.This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about additional or alternative reliable forms of birth control, and always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity to decrease the risk of spreading HIV to others. Tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your hormonal birth control is not working well.

Source: http://www.medicinenet.com

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