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Atazanavir

Generic name: atazanavir (a ta ZAN a vir)
Brand name: Reyataz
Dosage forms: oral capsule (150 mg; 200 mg; 300 mg); oral powder for reconstitution (50 mg)
Drug class: Protease inhibitors

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Nov 18, 2020. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is atazanavir?

Atazanavir is an antiviral medicine that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from multiplying in your body.

Atazanavir is used with other medications to treat HIV, the virus that can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Atazanavir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.

Atazanavir is for use in adults and children who are at least 3 months old and weigh at least 11 pounds (5 kilograms).

Atazanavir may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Warnings

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using. Many drugs can interact with atazanavir, and some drugs should not be used together.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use atazanavir if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to atazanavir.

Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used with atazanavir. Your doctor may need to change your treatment plan if you use:

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • liver disease (especially hepatitis B or C);

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);

  • kidney stones or gallstones;

  • diabetes;

  • a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia; or

  • heart problems.

Atazanavir oral powder may contain phenylalanine. Tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

Atazanavir can make hormonal birth control less effective, including birth control pills, injections, implants, skin patches, and vaginal rings. To prevent pregnancy while using atazanavir, use a barrier form of birth control: condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, or contraceptive sponge.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, and use your medications properly to control your infection. HIV can be passed to your baby if the virus is not controlled during pregnancy. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy and for a short time after childbirth.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a registry to track the effects of atazanavir on the baby. If you took atazanavir during pregnancy, tell your doctor if your newborn baby has a yellow appearance in the skin or the whites of the eyes.

Women with HIV or AIDS should not breastfeed a baby. Even if your baby is born without HIV, the virus may be passed to the baby in your breast milk.

Atazanavir should not be given to a child younger than 3 months old and weighing less than 11 pounds (5 kilograms).

How should I take atazanavir?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Atazanavir must be given in combination with other antiviral medications and should not be used alone.

Take atazanavir with food. Swallow the capsule whole and do not crush, chew, break, or open it.

Drink extra fluids to keep your kidneys working properly while using this medicine.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Atazanavir powder must be mixed with a food or liquid, and taken within 1 hour of mixing. Give the ritonavir dose to your child immediately after giving the atazanavir mixture.

Your dose needs may change if you switch to a different brand, strength, or form of this medicine. Avoid medication errors by using only the form and strength your doctor prescribes.

Atazanavir doses are based on weight in children. Your child's dose needs may change if the child gains or loses weight.

You will need frequent medical tests.

Use all HIV medications as directed and read all medication guides you receive. Do not change your dose or stop using a medicine without your doctor's advice. Every person with HIV should remain under the care of a doctor.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the powder in the original packet until you are ready to mix a dose.

After mixing the powder with food or liquid, keep the mixture at room temperature and use it within 1 hour.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you remember, and then go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at one time.

Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking atazanavir?

Using atazanavir may not prevent your disease from spreading. Do not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

Atazanavir side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • sudden dizziness (like you might pass out);

  • severe pain in your lower stomach or back;

  • painful urination, blood in your urine;

  • high blood sugar--increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, headache, blurred vision; or

  • liver or gallbladder problems--nausea, vomiting, upper stomach pain, itching, fever, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Atazanavir affects your immune system, which may cause certain side effects (even weeks or months after you've taken this medicine). Tell your doctor if you have:

  • signs of a new infection--fever, night sweats, swollen glands, cold sores, cough, wheezing, diarrhea, weight loss;

  • trouble speaking or swallowing, problems with balance or eye movement;

  • weakness or prickly feeling, loss of bladder or bowel control; or

  • swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid), menstrual changes, impotence.

Common side effects may include:

  • fever;

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea;

  • headache, muscle pain;

  • depressed mood, sleep problems (insomnia);

  • numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands or feet; 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.

What other drugs will affect atazanavir?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Many drugs can affect atazanavir. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Does Atazanavir interact with my other drugs?

Enter other medications to view a detailed report.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.