Atazanavir can cause serious side effects. These include heart rhythm problems, severe rash, liver problems, and life-threatening drug interactions.
Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that may signal heart rhythm problems:
Stop taking atazanavir and contact your health care provider right away if you have a severe rash or a rash combined with any of the following symptoms:
In people with existing liver problems, including infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), atazanavir can cause worsening of liver problems. Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that may signal liver problems:
Atazanavir is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children 3 months of age and older who weigh at least 22 pounds (10 kg). Atazanavir is always used in combination with other HIV medicines.
Atazanavir belongs to a class (group) of HIV medicines called protease inhibitors (PIs). PIs block an HIV enzyme called protease. (An enzyme is a protein that starts or increases the speed of a chemical reaction.) By blocking protease, PIs prevent HIV from multiplying and can reduce the amount of HIV in the body.
Atazanavir does not cure HIV/AIDS. People with HIV should stay on continuous HIV treatment as directed by their health care provider and should take steps to avoid passing HIV to others (for example, always using a condom during sex).
Before taking atazanavir, tell your health care provider:
Atazanavir comes in the following forms and strengths:
Atazanavir capsules are for use in adults and in children 6 years of age and older. Atazanavir oral powder is for use in children 3 months of age and older who weigh at least 22 pounds (10 kg) but less than 55 pounds (25 kg).
Take atazanavir according to your health care provider’s instructions.
Take atazanavir with food. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not open the capsules.
Atazanavir oral powder must be mixed with food or liquid. When preparing the oral powder for a child who can take food, mix the oral powder with food such as applesauce or yogurt, instead of a liquid (milk, infant formula, or water). If atazanavir oral powder is mixed with water, your child must eat food right after taking the oral powder. Infants less than 6 months old and who cannot eat solid food or drink from a cup should be given atazanavir oral powder mixed with infant formula by using an oral dosing syringe. (Ask your pharmacist for a dosing syringe.) For more information about mixing atazanavir oral powder, see the Patient Information leaflet that comes with atazanavir.
Always take atazanavir in combination with other HIV medicines.
If you take too much atazanavir, contact your local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
For more information on how to take atazanavir, see the FDA drug label from DailyMed. (DailyMed is a federal website that includes the most recent drug labels submitted to FDA.)
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and just take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
Atazanavir can cause severe side effects. These include heart rhythm problems, severe rash, liver problems, and life-threatening drug interactions. (See the WARNING above.)
Other possible side effects of atazanavir include:
Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of atazanavir. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist for more information on possible side effects of atazanavir.
More information about atazanavir is available:
Last Reviewed: June 20, 2014
Last Updated: June 20, 2014