The Food and Drug Administration announced on Monday that they have approved a new anti-HIV pill, which combines four medicines to combat the virus that can cause AIDS.
The FDA approved the Stribild pill manufactured by Gilead Sciences, which is a once-a-day treatment to control HIV in adults who have not been treated for infection in the past, reports MSN Money.
The pill contains the two previously approved antiviral drugs, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, which are already sold as the combination pill Truvada.
The previously approved antiviral drugs have been combined with two new drugs, elvitegravir and cobicistat to create Stribild. Elvitegravir interferes with an enzyme that HIV uses to multiply, while Cobicistat helps prolong the first drug’s effect.
Stribild helped 88 to 90 percent of patients who took it, giving them an undetectable level of HIV in their blood after taking the 4-in-1 medication for 48 weeks. This statistic is compared to 87 percent for patients who took Atripla, another HIV drug that combines Truvada and one other drug.
USA Today notes that about 1.2 million Americans live with HIV, which can develop into AIDS if it is not treated with antiviral drugs. Whe treated with antiviral cocktails, patients with HIV can lead relatively healthy, normal lives.
Stribild will carry a boxed warning about potentially dangerous side effects, like many other HIV drugs. The possible side effects include severe liver problems and buildup of lactic acid. Other more common side effects are nausea and diarrhea.
The 4-in-1 HIV pill is not the first Gilead medication to be approved this year, as the FDA also approved Truvada as the first preventative medicine for healthy people who are at a high risk of contracting HIV. Truvada was already approved in 2004 for patients who have been infected with the virus already.
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