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Atazanavir (at-a-za-NA-veer) is used with other medicines, in the treatment of the infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Atazanavir will not cure or prevent HIV infection or AIDS; however, it helps keep HIV from reproducing and appears to slow down the destruction of the immune system. This may help delay the development of problems usually related to AIDS or HIV disease. Atazanavir will not keep you from spreading HIV to other people. People who receive this medicine may continue to have other problems usually related to AIDS or HIV disease.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For atazanavir, the following should be considered:
Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to atazanavir. Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as [foods, preservatives, or dyes].
Pregnancy- Atazanavir did not cause birth defects in animal studies. However, in animal studies, atazanavir has been found to cause reduced weight and delayed growth in the infants. Atazanavir has not been studied in pregnant women.
Breast-feeding- It is not known whether atazanavir passes into breast milk. However, breast-feeding is usually not recommended in AIDS patients because of the risk of passing the AIDS virus on to the infant.
Children- Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is limited recommendations comparing the use of atazanavir in children with use in other age groups. Atazanavir should not be administered to children under the age of 3 months.
Older adults- Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. There is no specific information comparing use of atazanavir in the elderly with use in other age groups.
Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine. When you are taking atazanavir, it is especially important that your doctor and pharmacist know if you are taking any of the following:
Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of atazanavir. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
It is important that atazanavir be taken with food.
The dose of atazanavir may be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of atazanavir. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The number of capsules that you take depends on the strength of the medicine.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is within 6 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Do not take any other medicines without checking with your doctor first. To do so may increase the chance of side effects from atazanavir.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
Side Effects of This Medicine
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT