HIV Treatment Choices Expand

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HIV Treatment Choices Expand

More than 1.2 million Americans live with HIV infection and one in eight has not yet been diagnosed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite public health initiatives, each year approximately 50,000 more Americans are infected with this virus. There is now a new medication available to treat HIV. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the medication Genvoya (a combination of elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide) from Gilead Sciences Inc. for HIV.

Genvoya can be used to treat HIV-1 infections in both adults and children over the age of 12. The approval of this medication came after research in 3,171 HIV-infected individuals (from four different studies) showed that Genvoya lowered viral loads as well as other HIV treatments. The specific advantage of Genvoya over other treatments; however, is that Genvoya leads to fewer adverse effects for patients. Kidney toxicity is less than with other HIV treatments, which means that this medication can be used in patients with moderate kidney impairment. There is a boxed warning with Genvoya, cautioning that this medication increases the risk of lactic acidosis/severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, along with post treatment acute exacerbation of hepatitis B.

With HIV patients living longer than ever, Genvoya is a welcome addition to medication choices, allowing patients who require long-term treatment to avoid some serious side effects.

Sources

Press release. FDA approves new treatment for HIV. November 5, 2015.

James D. FDA approves single tablet HIV treatment. Sp Pharm Times November 5, 2015.

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