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Future Virol. 2011 Feb;6(2):157-177.

Atazanavir/ritonavir-based combination antiretroviral therapy for treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults.

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Feinberg School of Medicine & Center for Global Health, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA.


In the past 15 years, improvements in the management of HIV infection have dramatically reduced morbidity and mortality. Similarly, rapid advances in antiretroviral medications have resulted in the possibility of life-long therapy with simple and tolerable regimens. Protease inhibitors have been important medications in regimens of combination antiretroviral therapy for the treatment of HIV. One of the recommended and commonly used therapies in this class is once-daily-administered atazanavir, pharmacologically boosted with ritonavir (atazanavir/r). Clinical studies and practice have shown these drugs, in combination with other antiretroviral agents, to be potent, safe and easy to use in a variety of settings. Atazanavir/r has minimal short-term toxicity, including benign bilirubin elevation, and has less potential for long-term complications of hyperlipidemia and insulin resistance compared with other protease inhibitors. A high genetic barrier to resistance and a favorable resistance profile make it an excellent option for initial HIV treatment or as the first drug utilized in the protease inhibitors class. Atazanavir/r is also currently being studied in novel treatment strategies, including combinations with new classes of antiretrovirals to assess nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-sparing regimens. In this article we review atazanavir/r as a treatment for HIV infection and discuss the latest information on its pharmacology, efficacy and toxicity.

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