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AIDSinfo Drug Database

AIDSinfo Drug Database

Drugs by class

FDA-approved

Investigational

Atazanavir  Audio icon

Brand Name: Reyataz
Other Names: atazanavir sulfate, ATV
Drug Class: Protease Inhibitors
Approved Use: Treatment of HIV Infection
Drug Images:
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Atazanavir 150
Atazanavir 200
Reyataz 300mg
Chemical Image:
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atazanavir sulfate
atazanavir sulfate
Molecular Weight: 802.942

WARNING:

Atazanavir can cause serious side effects. These include heart rhythm problems, severe rash, liver problems, and life-threatening drug interactions.

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that may signal heart rhythm problems:

  • Dizziness.
  • Lightheadedness.

Stop taking atazanavir and contact your health care provider right away if you have a severe rash or a rash combined with any of the following symptoms:

  • General ill feeling or “flu-like” symptoms.
  • Fever.
  • Muscle or joint aches.
  • Red or inflamed eyes, like “pink eye” (conjunctivitis).
  • Blisters.
  • Mouth sores.
  • Swelling of the face.
  • Painful, warm, or red lump under your skin.

In people with existing liver problems, including infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), atazanavir can cause worsening of liver problems. Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that may signal liver problems:

  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice).
  • Dark-colored urine.
  • Light-colored bowel movements.
  • Nausea.
  • Itching.
  • Pain in the stomach area (abdominal pain).
While taking atazanavir, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider. 

What is atazanavir?

Atazanavir is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children 3 months of age and older who weigh at least 22 pounds (10 kg). Atazanavir is always used in combination with other HIV medicines.

Atazanavir belongs to a class (group) of HIV medicines called protease inhibitors (PIs). PIs block an HIV enzyme called protease. (An enzyme is a protein that starts or increases the speed of a chemical reaction.) By blocking protease, PIs prevent HIV from multiplying and can reduce the amount of HIV in the body.

Atazanavir does not cure HIV/AIDS. People with HIV should stay on continuous HIV treatment as directed by their health care provider and should take steps to avoid passing HIV to others (for example, always using a condom during sex).

What should I tell my health care provider before taking atazanavir?

Before taking atazanavir, tell your health care provider:

  • If you are allergic to atazanavir or any other medicines.
  • If you have heart problems.
  • If you have liver problems, including HBV or HCV infection.
  • If you have phenylketonuria (PKU). Atazanavir oral powder contains phenylalanine as part of the artificial sweetener aspartame. The artificial sweetener may be harmful to people with PKU.
  • If you are receiving kidney dialysis treatment.
  • If you have diabetes.
  • If you have hemophilia.
  • If you have any other medical conditions.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Whether atazanavir can harm an unborn baby is unknown. Some pregnant women have experienced serious side effects when taking atazanavir with certain other HIV medicines.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you are infected with HIV or are taking atazanavir.
  • If you are using hormone-based birth control (such as birth control pills, injections, vaginal rings or implants, or a contraceptive patch). Atazanavir may make these forms of birth control less effective. Your health care provider can help you decide how to adjust your birth control while you are taking atazanavir.
  • About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Atazanavir may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines and products may affect how atazanavir works. Taking atazanavir together with certain medicines or products may cause serious and/or life-threatening side effects.

How should I take atazanavir?

Atazanavir comes in the following forms and strengths:

  • 150-mg, 200-mg, and 300-mg capsules (brand name: Reyataz).
  • Oral powder (50 mg of atazanavir per packet) (brand name: Reyataz).

Atazanavir capsules are for use in adults and in children 6 years of age and older. Atazanavir oral powder is for use in children 3 months of age and older who weigh at least 22 pounds (10 kg) but less than 55 pounds (25 kg).

Take atazanavir according to your health care provider’s instructions.

Take atazanavir with food. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not open the capsules.

Atazanavir oral powder must be mixed with food or liquid. When preparing the oral powder for a child who can take food, mix the oral powder with food such as applesauce or yogurt, instead of a liquid (milk, infant formula, or water). If atazanavir oral powder is mixed with water, your child must eat food right after taking the oral powder. Infants less than 6 months old and who cannot eat solid food or drink from a cup should be given atazanavir oral powder mixed with infant formula by using an oral dosing syringe. (Ask your pharmacist for a dosing syringe.) For more information about mixing atazanavir oral powder, see the Patient Information leaflet that comes with atazanavir.

Always take atazanavir in combination with other HIV medicines.

If you take too much atazanavir, contact your local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

For more information on how to take atazanavir, see the FDA drug label from DailyMed. (DailyMed is a federal website that includes the most recent drug labels submitted to FDA.)

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and just take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.

What side effects can atazanavir cause?

Atazanavir can cause severe side effects. These include heart rhythm problems, severe rash, liver problems, and life-threatening drug interactions. (See the WARNING above.)

Other possible side effects of atazanavir include:

  • Mild rash (redness and itching).
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice), caused by increases in bilirubin levels in your blood. Contact your health care provider right away if you have this side effect.
  • Diabetes and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).
  • Changes in body fat (lipodystrophy).
  • Changes in the immune system (immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome [IRIS]).
  • Increased bleeding problems in people with hemophilia.
  • Gallbladder problems. Contact your health care provider right away if you develop symptoms of gallbladder problems (pain in your right or middle upper stomach area, fever, nausea and vomiting, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes [jaundice]).
  • Kidney stones. Contact your health care provider if you have pain in your low back or low stomach area, blood in your urine, or pain when urinating.

Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of atazanavir. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist for more information on possible side effects of atazanavir.

How should atazanavir be stored?

  • Store atazanavir capsules at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Keep atazanavir capsules in the container that they came in and keep the container tightly closed.
  • Keep atazanavir oral powder below 86°F (30°C).
  • After atazanavir oral powder is mixed with food or liquid, it may be kept at room temperature, 68°F to 86°F (20°C to 30°C), for up to 1 hour. Use atazanavir oral powder within 1 hour after mixing with food or liquid. 
  • Store atazanavir oral powder in the original packet. Do not open until ready to use.
  • Safely throw away atazanavir that is no longer needed or expired (out of date).
  • Keep atazanavir and all medicines out of reach of children.

Where can I find more information about atazanavir?

More information about atazanavir is available:

Manufacturer Information

Bristol-Myers Squibb
800-332-2056

The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Capsule (gelatin coated), oral powder.

Last Reviewed: June 20, 2014

Last Updated: June 20, 2014


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