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More Info on Atazanavir Indications

How Does Atazanavir Work?

Atazanavir is part of a group of HIV medications known as protease inhibitors. These medicines work by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply.
 
Like other viruses, HIV must use a person's own cells to reproduce. Once inside an infected cell, the HIV virus uses the cell to make DNA, which enables it to make new HIV viruses that can spread to other cells. The DNA is made in long strands that must be clipped into shorter, usable strands using enzymes called proteases.
 
Atazanavir is a protease inhibitor, which means that it stops protease enzymes from clipping DNA into short strands. Since the long, unclipped DNA strands cannot be used to make new viruses, this helps stop the spread of HIV to other uninfected cells.
 
Atazanavir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. It can help stop HIV from infecting healthy cells in the body, but it does not help cells that have already been infected with the virus.
 

Is Atazanavir Used in Children?

Atazanavir should not be used in infants younger than three months old, due to the risk of severe jaundice (which can cause brain damage). Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using atazanavir in children.
 

Is Atazanavir Used for Off-Label Reasons?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend atazanavir for treating something other than HIV infection and AIDS. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, the medication is used off-label to prevent HIV infection in people exposed to the HIV virus (such as a healthcare worker who comes in contact with a contaminated needle stick). This is called postexposure prophylaxis (PEP).
 

Atazanavir Sulfate Drug Information

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