Generic Name: atazanavir (oral) (a ta ZAN a vir)Brand Names: Reyataz
Atazanavir is an antiviral medication in a group of HIV medicines called protease (PRO-tee-ayz) inhibitors. Atazanavir prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.
Atazanavir is used to treat HIV, which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Atazanavir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.
Atazanavir may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not take this medication if you are allergic to atazanavir.Do not take atazanavir together with cisapride (Propulsid), ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal Nasal Spray), ergonovine (Ergotrate), methylergonovine (Methergine), indinavir (Crixivan), irinotecan (Camptosar), lovastatin (Mevacor, Altocor), simvastatin (Zocor), pimozide (Orap), midazolam (Versed), triazolam (Halcion), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater), or St. John's wort.
There are many other medicines that can interact with atazanavir. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.
Before using atazanavir, tell your doctor if you have liver disease (including hepatitis B or C), kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis), diabetes, a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia, a heart condition called "AV block," or if you have ever used a protease inhibitor in the past.Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Talk with your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.
You should not take this medication if you are allergic to atazanavir.Do not take atazanavir together with any of the following medicines:
ergot medicines such as ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal Nasal Spray), ergonovine (Ergotrate), or methylergonovine (Methergine);
lovastatin (Mevacor, Altocor) or simvastatin (Zocor)
rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater);
St. John's wort; or
If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before using atazanavir, tell your doctor if you have:
a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia;
high cholesterol or triglycerides;
a heart condition called "AV block"; or
if you have ever used a protease inhibitor in the past.
Your name may need to be listed on an antiviral pregnancy registry when you start using this medication.Taking atazanavir while using birth control pills or patches can make the atazanavir less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking atazanavir You should not breast-feed while you are using atazanavir. Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed at all. Even if your baby is born without HIV, you may still pass the virus to the baby in your breast milk. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 3 months old.
Take atazanavir exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.Atazanavir must be taken with food. Swallow the capsule whole.
It is important to use atazanavir regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.Store atazanavir at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Avoid using antacids within 1 hour before or 2 hours after you take atazanavir.
If you also take didanosine, take it 1 hour before or 2 hours after you take atazanavir.Avoid having unprotected sex or sharing needles, razors, or toothbrushes. Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Talk with your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.
increased urination or extreme thirst;
severe pain in your side or lower back, painful urination, blood in your urine;
feeling like you might pass out;
easy bruising or bleeding;
fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
signs of a new infection, such as fever or chills, cough, or flu symptoms; or
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;
numbness or tingling, especially around your mouth;
headache, mood changes; or
changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Many drugs can interact with atazanavir. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:
digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps);
an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin) or rifabutin (Mycobutin);
an antifungal such as itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral);
an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), trazodone (Desyrel), and others;
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
a calcium channel blocker such as amlodipine (Caduet, Lotrel, Norvasc), diltiazem (Tiazac, Cartia, Dilacor), felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat), or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan);
cholesterol-lowering medicine such as atorvastatin (Lipitor) and others;
drugs that weaken the immune system, such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune), or tacrolimus (Prograf);
heart rhythm medications such as amiodarone (Cordarone) or quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex);
insulin or diabetes medication you take by mouth;
medicines to treat erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra);
other HIV /AIDS medicine such as efavirenz (Sustiva), ritonavir (Norvir), or tenofovir (Viread); or
stomach acid reducers such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), nizatidine (Axid), omeprazole (Prilosec), or ranitidine (Zantac).
This list is not complete and there are many other medicines that can interact with atazanavir. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.