Atazanavir — usually boosted with ritonavir — is one of the PIs often prescribed as a first-line regimen. It's also commonly used by those more treatment experienced.
Unlike other protease inhibitors, atazanavir has not been linked to an increase in blood fats. So, if you have high cholesterol or triglycerides, or other risk factors for heart disease, your physician may prescribe atazanavir.
|Also known as
||Available in doses suitable for children and/or young people.
|Availability in Australia
Available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) through S100 prescribers since
This drug may be available through clinical trials in Australia.You may be able to import this drug from overseas for your personal use.
||150mg capsule; 200mg capsule; 300mg capsule
Like most anti-HIV drugs, atazanavir must be taken in combination with other drugs to be completely effective. Commonly, atazanavir is combined with one other nucleoside (NRTI) drug and either a protease inhibitor or non-nucleoside, although other combinations are sometimes used. Your doctor will advise you on the right combination of drugs to suit your circumstances.
The normal dose is 300mg boosted with 100mg of ritonavir, once a day. Unboosted, the normal dose is 2 x 200mg once daily.
Regardless of what you read on this website or elsewhere, you should always take your medications according to your doctor's instructions. If you're unsure, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
With or without food
atazanavir should be taken with food
All drugs can produce side effects in some people. These may be mild, moderate or severe, so you should be aware of potential side effects before starting any drug, and speak to your doctor if you experience side effects that concern you.
- Common side effects may include nausea (upset stomach, feeling sick to the stomach), diarrhoea, vomiting, headache, rash, stomach pain.
- Less common side effects may include depression, high levels of bilirubin, tingling in hands or feet, changes in heart rhythm.
- Rare side effects may include nephrolithiasis.
It's unlikely you will experience all of these side effects, and you may not experience any side effects at all. Before starting any new drug, ask your doctor about side effects you might experience and discuss strategies for dealing with side effects if they do occur. If you experience any significant side effect you should continue taking your medicine and see your doctor as soon as possible.
Interactions with other drugs
Both atazanavir and indinavir can cause grade 3 to 4 hyperbilirubinemia and jaundice, therefore, these two PIs are not recommended to be used in combination.
Do not use with high-dose (>20 mg omeprazole equivalent/day) proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Use with caution with any dose of PPIs, H2 blockers or antacids.