Atazanavir-ritonavir is a combination medication used in the treatment of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection. It contains two drugs, atazanavir and ritonavir, which belong to the class of protease inhibitors.
Atazanavir-ritonavir works by inhibiting the activity of the HIV protease enzyme, which is essential for the replication of the virus. Ritonavir is used in combination with atazanavir to enhance its effectiveness by boosting its levels in the blood. By blocking the protease enzyme, this combination helps to reduce the viral load and slow down the progression of HIV infection.
The medication is typically prescribed as part of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART), which involves using multiple drugs to target different stages of the HIV life cycle. The specific combination and dosage of drugs are determined by the healthcare provider based on the individual’s HIV strain, treatment history, and other factors.
Common side effects of atazanavir-ritonavir may include nausea, diarrhea, headache, and skin rash. More serious side effects, such as liver problems or changes in heart rhythm, can occur but are rare. Regular monitoring of liver function and other parameters may be recommended during treatment.
It is important to take atazanavir-ritonavir as prescribed and not miss doses to avoid the development of drug resistance and maintain its effectiveness. The medication should be taken with food to enhance its absorption.
Atazanavir-ritonavir may interact with other medications, so it is important to inform the healthcare provider about all medications being taken, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.
In summary, atazanavir-ritonavir is a combination medication used in the treatment of HIV infection. It inhibits the HIV protease enzyme to reduce the viral load and slow down the progression of the disease. Regular monitoring and adherence to healthcare provider instructions are important during atazanavir-ritonavir treatment.