Adult Medication

Brand Names: US


Brand Names: Canada


What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat HIV infection.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

For all patients taking this drug:

  • If you have an allergy to atazanavir or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Kidney disease or liver disease.
  • If you take any drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) that must not be taken with this drug, like certain drugs that are used for high cholesterol, migraines, or mood problems. There are many drugs that must not be taken with this drug.
  • If you are taking St. John’s wort. Do not take St. John’s wort with this drug. This drug may not work as well.


  • If your child weighs less than 11 lb (5 kg) or is younger than 3 months of age.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

All products:

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • This drug interacts with many other drugs. The chance of this drug’s side effects may be raised or how well this drug works may be lowered. The chance of the other drugs’ side effects may also be raised. This may include very bad, life-threatening, or deadly side effects. Check with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your other drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins).
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor. This drug may raise blood sugar.
  • Check your blood sugar as you have been told by your doctor.
  • Some people with hemophilia have had times of more bleeding when taking drugs like this one. If you have hemophilia, talk with your doctor.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug is not a cure for HIV. Stay under the care of your doctor.
  • This drug does not stop the spread of diseases like HIV or hepatitis that are passed through blood or having sex. Do not have any kind of sex without using a latex or polyurethane condom. Do not share needles or other things like toothbrushes or razors. Talk with your doctor.
  • Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. Use some other kind of birth control also like a condom when taking this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • If you used this drug when you were pregnant, tell the doctor if your baby has yellow skin or eyes after your baby is born.
  • Do not breast-feed if you have HIV disease unless your doctor tells you to.

Powder for suspension:

  • If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), talk with your doctor. Some products have phenylalanine.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.
  • Pain when passing urine.
  • Back pain, belly pain, or blood in the urine. May be signs of a kidney stone.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Change in body fat.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • This drug may help the immune system work. If you have an infection that you did not know you had, it may show up when you take this drug. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any signs of infection like fever, sore throat, weakness, cough, or shortness of breath after you start this drug.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Headache.
  • Cough.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Belly pain.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Not able to sleep.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All products:

  • Take this drug with food.
  • Do not take antacids or didanosine within 2 hours of this drug.
  • Some other drugs may need to be taken at some other time than this drug. If you take other drugs, check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if you need to take them at some other time than this drug.
  • Keep taking this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • It is important that you do not miss or skip a dose of this drug during treatment.


  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, open, or crush.
  • If you have trouble swallowing, talk with your doctor.

Powder for suspension:

  • This drug must be mixed before using. Mix the powder with soft food like applesauce or yogurt. If you cannot do this, mix with a drink like milk, infant formula, or water. Mix this drug as the doctor has told you or read the package insert.
  • Take this drug within 1 hour of mixing.
  • This drug must be taken with another drug called ritonavir.


  • If you use infant formula to mix the powder, give the drug using an oral dosing syringe. Do not give using an infant bottle.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • If you are not sure what to do if you miss a dose, call your doctor.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

All products:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

Powder for suspension:

  • Store in original container.
  • Do not open until you are ready to use.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date



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