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Edurant Approved To Treat AIDS Virus

FRIDAY, May 20 -- Edurant (rilpivirine), in combination with other antiretroviral drugs, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat HIV-1 infection in adults who haven't taken any prior HIV therapy

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Edurant, a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), blocks the virus's ability to reproduce itself. The pill is taken once daily with food, the FDA said in a news release.

Edurant was evaluated in a pair of 48-week studies involving 1,368 adults infected with HIV. Compared to another NNRTI, efavirenz, Edurant was as effective in lowering amounts of the virus in a person's blood, the agency said.

The most common adverse reactions reported were depression, insomnia, headache and rash.

Since Edurant does not reverse HIV infection, people must continue taking the drug, in combination with other anti-HIV medications, to prevent HIV-related illness, the FDA said.

Edurant is produced by Tibotec Therapeutics, based in Raritan, N.J.

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Posted: May 2011