Information on a new drug was released on May 20, 2011 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for treating HIV infections. The drug is Edurant (rilpivirine) and is to be used in combination with other antiretroviral drugs, but is intended only for adults who have never taken HIV medication.
The drug works by blocking HIV viral replication and, belongs to the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) class of drugs. The drug is intended to suppress heavy blood infection of the virus. The drug is to be taken daily with food.
Dr. Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H, director of the office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said, “Patients may respond differently to various HIV drugs or experience varied side effects. FDA’s approval of Edurant provides an additional treatment option for patients who are just starting HIV therapy.”
Trials were conducted with HIV positive adult subjects and given the drug Edurant; These patients had never received prior treatment. They were given Edurant or efavirenz (another FDA approved NNRTI drug) for HIV treatment. The drugs were administered with other antiretroviral drugs.
The effectiveness of the drugs were documented and the results evaluated, where 83% of subjects with Edurant, and 80% with Efavirenz, had undetectable virus in their bloodstream, within a 48 week treatment. Drug resistance was more evident with Edurant then with Efavirenz, when patients failed their therapy.
Please note: Edurant does not cure HIV, and patients must stay on HIV therapy to control the disease. The side effects of Edurant include depression, difficulty sleeping, headache and rash. Furthermore, there were less patients taking Edurant due to side effects than efavirenz.
To seek help in El Paso, Texas for HIV infections and information, contact:
City of El Paso Department of Health
5115 El Paso, Drive suite B
El Paso, Texas 79905
Phone: (915) 771-1200
Clinical testing Monday through Thursday: 7:30am to 11am and 1pm to 3pm. Friday and Sunday closed. One HIV test is $10.00. Contact your local healthcare provider also.
FOR MORE INFO: Contact the Food and Drug Administration.