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An anti-retroviral drug of the protease inhibitor class that is used in to treat HIV infected patients.
Atazanavir, marketed under the trade name Reyataz by Bristol Myers, is an antiretroviral drug of the protease inhibitor class. Like other antiretrovirals, it is used to treat infection of human immunodeficiency virus. Atazanavir is distinguished from other PIs in that it can be given once-daily and has lesser effects on the patient's lipid profile. Like other protease inhibitors, it is used only in combination with other HIV medications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved atazanavir on June 20, 2003. Atazanavir is the first PI approved for once-daily dosing, and also appears to be less likely to cause lipodystrophy and elevated cholesterol as side effects. It may also not be cross-resistant with other PIs. When boosted with ritonavir it is equivalent in potency to lopinavir for use in salvage therapy in patients with a degree of drug resistance, although boosting with ritonavir reduces the metabolic advantages of atazanavir. On October 20, 2006, the FDA approved a new formulation of atazanavir to be taken as part of combination drug therapy. This formulation should reduce pill burden, as one 300 mg capsule may replace two 150 mg capsules.
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