atazanavir - oral, Reyataz (cont.)
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking atazanavir and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily with food. Do not open, crush, or chew the capsules. Swallow the capsules whole.The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. For children, the dosage is also based on weight. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). If you are directed to take ritonavir with this medication, take them both at the same time.If you are taking antacids or buffered forms of drugs (such as didanosine solution, didanosine enteric-coated capsules), take atazanavir at least 2 hours before or 1 hour after these medications.This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.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.
SIDE EFFECTS: Headache or nausea may occur. If either of these effects persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Some people may experience worsening of a previous medical condition (such as an old infection) as their immune systems improve, or develop new conditions because their immune systems have become overactive. This reaction may occur at any time (soon after starting HIV treatment or many months later). Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: unexplained weight loss, persistent muscle aches/weakness, joint pain, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet/arms/legs, severe tiredness, vision changes, severe/persistent headaches, signs of infection (such as fever, chills, 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 difficulty breathing/swallowing/moving your eyes, drooping face, paralysis, slurred speech).Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: yellowing eyes/skin, increased thirst/urination, dizziness, lightheadedness, signs of a kidney stone (such as pain in side/back/abdomen, painful urination, blood in the 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.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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