What is Vonavir (Atripla)?
Vonavir is combination of three anti-HIV drugs in a single pill: emtricitabine, efavirenz and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. It was developed to treat HIV-1 infection in adults over 18-years-old. Due to HIV's rapid rate of mutation, several drugs are needed at once to keep the virus from replicating or evolving an immunity to any one treatment. Fortunately, Vonavir reduces the pill burden to a single dose and, if taken daily, it can prevent HIV from ever progressing to AIDS.
Dosage and Administration
One pill should be taken orally once a day. Taking Vonivir on an empty stomach can reduce gastrointestinal side effects, and taking the medication before bedtime can reduce nervous system disturbances. Patients with compromised renal function, especially those with a creatinine clearance of less than 50 ml/min, should not take Vonavir.
Hypersensitivity to any of the three individual components may manifest when taking Vonavir. Other contraindications include cisapride, voriconazole, midazolam, astemizole, triazolam and ergot derivatives.
Vonavir Side Effects
Common side effects associated with Vonavir include:
- nervous system disturbances
- psychiatric symptoms such as depression
Rarer side effects documented include:
- abdominal pain
- lactic acidosis
Other adverse effects have been reported. Consult a doctor right away if you experience any sudden changes after starting Vonavir.
Warnings & Precautions
Some patients experience immune reconstitution syndrome for a few weeks after they first start Vonavir. Patients on Vonavir, especially those with a prior history of renal complications, should be continually monitored to ensure that their kidneys are functioning properly and their HIV viral load remains suppressed. Cholesterol and triglycerides should also be tracked. Patients with underlying liver disorders should avoid Vonavir until further research has been done on such patients. People with hepatitis may experience a flare up if they suddenly discontinue Vonavir. Body fat redistribution and changes in bone structure have been associated with long term use of antiretrovirals; consult a doctor right away if you notice any unexplained changes in appearance. Nervous system disturbances may begin after the first few doses but usually cease within a month.
Vonavir may cause renal complications for patients on valganciclovir, acyclovir, valacyclovir, cidofovir and ganciclovir. Taking the drug tablets with didanosine can increase the risk of didanosine-associated side effects. Atazanavir or lopinavir/ritonavir can exacerbate the side-effects of Vonavir. Patients on Vonavir should not take atazanavir without ritonavir. This medication can alter plasma concentrations of rifabutin, clarithromycin, warfarin and drugs that are metabolized by CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP3A4. Vonavir can negate the effects of methadone and induce symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Patients on carbamazepine, phenobarbitol, or phenytoin should be monitored for anticonvulsant levels. The drug can exacerbate the nervous system side effects of psychoactive drugs. Vonavir can alter the effectiveness of ethinyl estradiol, a key component of many oral and hormonal contraceptives. Rifampin and any product containing hypericum perforatum, also know as St. John's wort, can decrease the effectiveness of efavirenz to the point that HIV may become resistant to the drug.
Efavirenz has been linked to birth defects when a mother takes the drug while pregnant. Women with HIV are discouraged from breast feeding due to the risk of transmission to the child.
The drugs in Vonavir can be toxic in high doses, so anyone who takes more than the recommended dosage should seek medical help immediately. Medical procedures such as a hemodialysis or haemodialysis and oral administration of charcoal may be necessary to reduce serious health risks.
Alternative Brand Names
If you are looking for a low cost alternative to Atripla, Vonavir is the medication you are looking for. Both Atripla and Vonavir contain the same active ingredients but Vonavir is manufactured in India. Emcure Pharmaceuticals is the reputable manufacturer behind the creation of Vonavir.
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