Clinical utility and long-term use of atazanavir in the treatment of HIV-1 infection
Thomas Rampling, Mark Nelson
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
Abstract: The protease inhibitor atazanavir (ATV) now forms an integral component of many combination antiretroviral regimens. It has been shown to have a favorable side effect profile, and it does not negatively affect plasma lipids as some other protease inhibitors can. ATV also has a long half-life, which allows for a once-daily dosing schedule. Coadministration of ATV with low-dose ritonavir (RTV) potentiates the effect of ATV ("RTV boosting"), allowing for lower doses of ATV than those prescribed without RTV. ATV boosted with RTV (ATV/r) has shown noninferiority to RTV-boosted lopinavir (LPV/r), and it has been shown to be effective as a simplification strategy in switch studies. ATV/r-based regimens have also shown promise as a rescue strategy for patients failing other regimens. Several important adverse events and drug interactions have been identified, and care must be taken when administering ATV with other medications. The most commonly reported adverse effect is unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia, which occurs as a result of the metabolic pathway by which it is excreted. Resistance to ATV has been described in both treatment-experienced and treatment-naïve patients.
Keywords: atazanavir, HIV, protease inhibitors, drug resistance
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