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What is Reyataz (Atazanavir) prescribed for?
HIV is a viral infection that slowly weakens your immune system. This virus itself begins to kill of certain white blood cells, and when that white blood cell count drops below a certain amount, you then run the risk of getting AIDS, which is the final stage of a HIV infection.
Atazanavir is an antiviral medication that prevents HIV from multiplying in your body, and allows your immune system to function properly. It helps treat any symptoms and allows you to move on with your day to day life. This medication is often used with other medications to combat the HIV. Be sure to 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.
To decrease the spread of HIV disease to others, you must continue taking all of your HIV medications, exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Always use an effective barrier method during all sexual activities, and absolutely do not share items such as needles, toothbrushes and razors, that may of contacted blood with other body fluids.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this medication, consult with your doctor or pharmacist on the matter. Take this medication directly has prescribed, and make sure to read the instructions on the prescription label. And if you have any concerns, speak with your medical professional.
This medication is taken by mouth, once a day with food. Do not open, crush or chew on the capsules. Doing so may release all the medication at once, and therefore increases the risk of any side effects. Swallow the capsule whole.
If you take this medication with other medications such as cobicistat, ritonavir, take them all at the same time.
Since this medication can cause kidney problems, it is best to drink plenty of fluids during treatment to lower the risk.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, and any herbal products.
It is very important to continue taking this medication (and other HIV medications) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip any doses. Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed or stop taking it (or other HIV medicines) even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Doing so may cause the amount of virus to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects.
Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic Atazanavir; or to any other medications or allergies in general. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
Before taking this medication, it is for the best to inform your doctor of your Medical history, especially if you have ever had the following; liver problems (including hepatitis B or C infections), kidney problems (including kidney stones), heart problems (such as heart rhythm problems, irregular heartbeat, coronary artery disease, heart attack), diabetes, a certain bleeding problem (hemophilia).
Atazanavir may increase the level of cholesterol and fats (triglycerides) in your blood. HIV infection can also cause this effect. This could increase your risk for heart problems such as a heart attack. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor and ways to lower your risk of heart disease. Tell your doctor if you have heart problems, if you smoke, or if you have other conditions that increase your risk of heart disease such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol/triglyceride levels.
While minor, some of these side effects may occur. They are as follows; Headache or nausea may occur. However if any of these persist or worsen, it’s best to speak with your doctor right away.
As your immune system gets stronger, it can begin to fight off infections you already had, possibly causing disease symptoms to come back. You could also have symptoms if your immune system becomes overactive. This reaction may happen at any time (soon after starting HIV treatment or many months later). Get medical help right away if you have any serious symptoms, including: unexplained weight loss, severe tiredness, muscle aches/weakness that doesn't go away, headaches that are severe or don't go away, joint pain, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet/arms/legs, vision changes, signs of infection (such as fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, trouble breathing, cough, non-healing skin sores), signs of an overactive thyroid (such as irritability, nervousness, heat intolerance, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, bulging eyes, unusual growth in the neck/thyroid known as a goiter), signs of a certain nerve problem known as Guillain-Barre syndrome (such as trouble breathing/swallowing/moving your eyes, drooping face, paralysis, trouble speaking).
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: increased thirst/urination, dizziness, lightheadedness, signs of kidney problems (such as pain in side/back/abdomen, painful urination, blood in the urine, change in the amount of urine), signs of liver problems (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).
Changes in body fat may occur while you are taking this medication (such as increased fat in the upper back and stomach areas, decreased fat in the arms and legs). The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor, as well as the possible use of exercise to reduce this side effect.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: signs of a heart attack (such as chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating).
Atazanavir can commonly cause a rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Therefore, get medical help right away if you develop any rash.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?
There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.
What is the best dosage to take?
The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.
What happens if I miss a dose?
You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.
What is the best way to store this medication?
This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.
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