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ATZ (Generic Atazanavir)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

When treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adults and children who are at least 3 months old and weigh at least 22 lb, atazanavir is often combined with additional drugs (10 kg). Protease inhibitors are a class of drugs that includes atazanavir. It functions by lowering the level of HIV in the blood. Atazanavir does not treat HIV, but it may lessen your risk of getting AIDS and other diseases connected to HIV, such as cancer or serious infections. To completely treat HIV infection, atazanavir must be administered along with other drugs that treat the infection. The risk of spreading the HIV virus to others may be reduced by taking these medications, engaging in safer sexual behaviour, and changing other aspects of one’s lifestyle.

How should this medicine be used?

Both a capsule and a powder for oral use are available for atazanavir. Atazanavir capsules are taken once daily with food and may be combined with a pharmacokinetic booster, such as ritonavir or cobicistat, to boost the levels of another medicine in the body. Ritonavir and meals must be consumed when taking atazanavir powder. Atazanavir should be taken every day around the same time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Follow the prescription for atazanavir strictly. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Atazanavir will be combined with other HIV drugs that you are taking. If you should take these drugs concurrently with atazanavir, or a few hours before or after atazanavir, your doctor will advise you. Follow this schedule closely, and if you have any doubts about when you should take your prescriptions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Do not open, chew, or split the capsules; instead, swallow them whole. You should let your doctor or pharmacist know if you are unable to swallow the capsules.

You can mix atazanavir powder into beverages like water, milk, or newborn formula as well as foods like applesauce or yoghurt. Take the entire mixture at once in order to receive the full dosage after thoroughly blending. If the powder is combined with water, consume a snack or meal straight away. Using an oral dosage syringe, mix the powder with infant formula for infants (older than 3 months) who are unable to drink from a cup. Do not give the combination to the child in a baby bottle. If the mixture isn’t consumed right once, it needs to be kept at room temperature and consumed within an hour. Read the manufacturer’s instructions very carefully before mixing and taking an atazanavir dose. If you have any doubts about how to combine or take this drug, make sure to ask your pharmacist or doctor.

Ask your doctor what to do if your child throws up, spits up, or only consumes a portion of the atazanavir dose.

While preventing HIV, atazanavir does not treat it. HIV infection cannot be treated with atazanavir alone; it must always be administered alongside a full regimen. In order for the meds to continue to function to manage the infection, it is crucial that you take all of the prescription drugs your doctor has prescribed to treat your HIV infection at the same time. Atazanavir should still be used even if you feel OK. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking atazanavir. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more atazanavir when you start to run low on it. Your disease may get harder to treat if you stop taking atazanavir or skip doses.

For a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient, ask your pharmacist or doctor. If you have any questions, make sure you thoroughly read this information and speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other uses for this medicine

Healthcare professionals and other individuals who unintentionally came into contact with HIV may also benefit from the use of atazanavir to stave off infection. The dangers of using this drug for your illness should be discussed with your doctor.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking atazanavir,

  • If you have an allergy to atazanavir, any other drugs, or any of the substances in atazanavir capsules or powder, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. Your physician might advise against taking atazanavir. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist.
  • If you take any of the following prescription drugs or herbal supplements, let your doctor know: Alfuzosin (Uroxatral), cisapride (Propulsid; not available in the US), elbasvir and grazoprevir (Zepatier), ergot alkaloids such as dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), ergonovine, ergotamine (Ergomar, in Cafergot, in Migergot), or methylergonovine (Methergine), gle (Halcion). If you are taking one or more of these drugs, your doctor will probably advise you not to use atazanavir.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins, herbal items, and dietary supplements you are now taking or intend to take. Make sure you bring up any of the following: Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) is an anticoagulant (“blood thinner”); amitriptyline, desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Silenor, Zonalon), imipramine (Tofranil, Surmontil), protriptyline (Vivactil), trazodone, and trimipramine (Surmontil) are antidepressants (“mood lifters”); and trimipramine; beta blockers like labetalol (Trandate), nadolol (Corgard, in Corzide), and propranolol (Hemangeol, Inderal, Innopran XL, in Inderide); boceprevir (no longer available in the United States; Victrelis); bosentan (Tracleer); buprenorphine (Buprenex, Butrans, in Bunavail, in Suboxone, in Zubsolv); calcium channel blockers like diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Tiazac, others), felodipine, nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Adalat, Afeditab, Procardia), and verapamil (Calan, Verelan, in Tarka, others); some cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) like atorvastatin (Lipitor, in Caduet), and digoxin (Lanoxin), fluticasone (Flonase, Flovent, in Advair), clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac), colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare), and rosuvastatin (Crestor); medications that suppress the immune system, such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune), and tacrolimus (Astagraf, Prograf); medications for irregular heartbeat, such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Nexterone, Pacerone), lidocaine (Octocaine, Xylocaine), and quinidine (in Nuedexta); and other medications for HIV or AIDS, Injections of midazolam, paclitaxel (Abraxane, Taxol), sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn) are all examples of phosphodiesterase inhibitors (PDE-5 inhibitors) used to treat erectile dysfunction. Other examples include repaglinide (Prandin, in Prandimet), queti (Adcirca, Cialis). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects. Tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking, even any not on this list, since many other drugs may also interact with atazanavir.
  • Take atazanavir 2 hours before or 1 hour after taking antacids, didanosine delayed-release capsules (Videx EC), or any other buffered drug, such as buffered aspirin (Bufferin). If you are unsure whether any of the medications you are taking are buffered, see your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor if you use any medications for heartburn, ulcers, or indigestion, including cimetidine, esomeprazole (Nexium, in Vimovo), famotidine (Pepcid, in Duexis), lansoprazole (Prevacid, in Prevpac), nizatidine (Axid), omeprazole (Prilosec, in Zegerid), pantoprazole (Protonix) (Zantac). You could be advised by your doctor to stop taking the drug or to take it in smaller doses. Your doctor will advise you on how long you should wait before taking atazanavir if you decide to keep taking the medicine.
  • Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had any of the following conditions: an irregular heartbeat, diabetes or excessive blood sugar, haemophilia or any other bleeding illness, hepatitis (a viral infection of the liver), renal disease, or any other liver disease.
  • If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant, let your doctor know. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking atazanavir. When using atazanavir and having an HIV infection, it is not advisable to breastfeed.
  • Atazanavir may reduce the efficacy of hormonal contraceptives, so you should be aware of it (birth control pills, patches, rings, implants, and injections). Consult your doctor about birth control options that are effective for you while you are taking atazanavir.
  • Inform the surgeon or dental surgeon that you are taking atazanavir if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
  • Even if you do not already have diabetes, you should be aware that taking this drug may cause hyperglycemia (increases in blood sugar). If you experience any of the following side effects while taking atazanavir: severe thirst, frequent urination, intense hunger, blurred vision, or weakness, call your doctor right away. Calling your doctor as soon as you experience any of these symptoms is crucial because untreated high blood sugar can result in the deadly disease known as ketoacidosis. If ketoacidosis is not treated right away, it could become life-threatening. Dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, fruity-smelling breath, and diminished consciousness are all signs of ketoacidosis.
  • You should be aware that while you are on atazanavir, your body fat may change locations on your body, such as your stomach, breasts, and the back of your neck and upper shoulders (the “buffalo hump”). Your face, buttocks, arms, and legs could all lose weight. If you see any of these alterations in your body fat, consult your doctor.
  • You should be aware that atazanavir oral powder is sweetened with aspartame, which creates phenylalanine, if you have phenylketonuria (PKU), a genetic disorder that requires you to follow a particular diet to prevent brain damage that could cause severe intellectual disability.
  • You should be aware that when you take HIV medicine, your immune system could become stronger and start to fight other infections that were already present in your body. You might begin to exhibit signs of those infections as a result of this. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any new or worsening symptoms while taking atazanavir for your condition.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

If you plan to consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking this medication, consult your doctor.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Side effects from atazanavir are possible. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Fever
  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Muscle ache
  • Light rash
  • Tingling, burning, pain, or numbness in the hands or feet

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Get emergency medical care if you encounter any of the following symptoms, or call your doctor right away:

  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Experiencing dizziness or faintness
  • Vision alters
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin (especially in newborn infants)
  • Having back or side pain
  • Urination may cause burning or pain
  • Urethral blood
  • Vomiting
  • Reduced appetite
  • Hand, foot, leg, or ankle swelling
  • Less urinations
  • Urine with a deep colour
  • Colored-light bowel motions
  • Greater than 4-hour duration of the erection

If you develop any of the following symptoms coupled with a severe rash, you should stop taking atazanavir right once. If required, you should also seek emergency medical help.

  • General malaise or influenza-like symptoms
  • Fever
  • Joint pain or muscle pains
  • Eye swelling or redness
  • Peeling or blistering skin
  • Oral sores
  • Your face or neck swelling
  • Throbbing, hot, or flaming lump under your skin

Other negative effects of atazanavir are possible. If you have any strange side effects while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right once.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this prescription tightly packed in the package it came in, away from the reach of children and animals. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at for additional information.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. Before and during your treatment, your doctor will request specific lab tests to monitor how well your body is responding to atazanavir.

Atazanavir should be kept on hand. Do not put off getting a refill on your prescription until you are out of medicine.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Reyataz®
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