Guest Author - Ursula Metz
Taking medication for many people suffering from illnesses is their first line of defense in staying alive, controlling the disease, and living as normal of a life as possible. For HIV and AIDS patients, taking meds can be quite challenging although life saving. Some HIV patients take up 14 pills a day while others can take even more!
According to s survey done by Savitz Reseach underwritten by GlaxoSmith Kline in 2001, 67 percent of the anonymous HIV-positive patients said the biggest challenge they faced was following their doctorís treatment regimen consisting of having to take too many pills on a daily basis. To help patients with this prominent issue, a new drug called Atripla was created combining three of the pills used by HIV and AIDS patients into one pill.
Atripla, produced by Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Gilead Sciences, consists of the drugs Viread, Sustiva, and Emtriva. The medicine was approved by the Food and Drug administration and can replace two or more of the antiretroviral drugs currently used. This is good news for patients who are challenged with taking many pills aimed at keeping the virus at bay.
There are strains of HIV that are drug resistant and can manifest when patients donít take the entire prescribed daily dosage of meds. The new single-dose pill can help fight the drug resistant strain HIV by slowing its progression.
With the new drug, some AIDS and HIV patients will still have to take other prescribed medications to treat the various other ailments that can accompany the primary disease.
Atripla is costly and a one-month supply of 30 pills will cost $1,150. Hopefully, a generic version of Atripla will be on the market as well to cut cost for patients who canít get the single dose pill because of various medical insurance issues. As with any medication, not all patients will be able to take the single dose pill becasue of potential side effects. Atripla is another advancement in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, but it is not a cure.