What is atazanavir?

Atazanavir is an antiviral medication in a group of HIV medicines called protease (PRO-tee-ayz) inhibitors. Atazanavir prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.

Atazanavir is used to treat HIV, which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Atazanavir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.

Atazanavir may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.


You should not take this medication if you are allergic to atazanavir.

Do not take atazanavir together with any of the following medicines:

  • cisapride (Propulsid);
  • ergot medicines such as ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal Nasal Spray), ergonovine (Ergotrate), or methylergonovine (Methergine);
  • indinavir (Crixivan)
  • irinotecan (Camptosar);
  • lovastatin (Mevacor, Altocor) or simvastatin (Zocor)
  • midazolam (Versed)
  • pimozide (Orap);
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater);
  • St. John's wort; or
  • triazolam (Halcion).

The medications listed above can cause life-threatening side effects if you take them together with atazanavir.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before using atazanavir, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease, including hepatitis B or C;
  • kidney disease, or if you are on dialysis;
  • diabetes;
  • a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia;
  • high cholesterol or triglycerides;
  • a heart condition called "AV block"; or
  • if you have ever used a protease inhibitor in the past.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby, but HIV can be passed to the baby if the mother is not properly treated during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection while you are pregnant.

Your name may need to be listed on an antiviral pregnancy registry when you start using this medication.

Taking atazanavir while using birth control pills or patches can make the atazanavir less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking atazanavir

You should not breast-feed while you are using atazanavir. Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed at all. Even if your baby is born without HIV, you may still pass the virus to the baby in your breast milk.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 3 months old.

Avoid using antacids within 1 hour before or 2 hours after you take atazanavir.

If you also take didanosine, take it 1 hour before or 2 hours after you take atazanavir.

Avoid having unprotected sex or sharing needles, razors, or toothbrushes. Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Talk with your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Overdose may cause jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • increased urination or extreme thirst;
  • severe pain in your side or lower back, painful urination, blood in your urine;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • easy bruising or bleeding;
  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • signs of a new infection, such as fever or chills, cough, or flu symptoms; or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;
  • numbness or tingling, especially around your mouth;
  • joint pain;
  • headache, mood changes; or
  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Atazanavir should not be taken together with ritonavir (Norvir) if you are also using a steroid medicine called fluticasone (Advair, Flonase, Flovent). Ask your doctor about taking a different HIV medication, or using another treatment for your allergic condition.

Many drugs can interact with atazanavir. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps);
  • an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin) or rifabutin (Mycobutin);
  • an antifungal such as itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral);
  • an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), trazodone (Desyrel), and others;
  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
  • a calcium channel blocker such as amlodipine (Caduet, Lotrel, Norvasc), diltiazem (Tiazac, Cartia, Dilacor), felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat), or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan);
  • cholesterol-lowering medicine such as atorvastatin (Lipitor) and others;
  • drugs that weaken the immune system, such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune), or tacrolimus (Prograf);
  • heart rhythm medications such as amiodarone (Cordarone) or quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex);
  • insulin or diabetes medication you take by mouth;
  • medicines to treat erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra);
  • other HIV /AIDS medicine such as efavirenz (Sustiva), ritonavir (Norvir), or tenofovir (Viread); or
  • stomach acid reducers such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), nizatidine (Axid), omeprazole (Prilosec), or ranitidine (Zantac).

This list is not complete and there are many other medicines that can interact with atazanavir. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

Other Names

Reyataz and atazanavir

Available Strengths & Dosages

Route Form Strength
oral capsule 100 mg
oral capsule 150 mg
oral capsule 200 mg
oral capsule 300 mg

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