New 1-a-Day HIV Treatment Approved

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Updated: 3/28 2:53 pm

Aug. 28, 2012 -- The FDA has approved Stribild, the much anticipated once-daily "quad" HIV pill from Gilead Sciences.

The drug combines same two HIV drugs in Truvada, plus elvitegravir, a new HIV drug that attacks HIV in a different way. The fourth component, also new, boosts elvitegravir.

It's the third all-in-one, once-a-day HIV pill. The others are Atripla from Gilead and Bristol Myers, approved in 2006, and Complera from Gilead and Janssen, approved in 2011.

"Over the past decade, co-formulated HIV medicines have simplified therapy for many patients and have become standard of care," Paul Sax, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, says in a Gilead news release.

Stribild is intended for people who have never taken HIV drugs. It should be taken with food.

Stribild carries a "black box" safety warning. In rare cases, the drug causes a buildup of lactic acid in the blood. It can also cause severe liver problems. Both of these side effects can be deadly.

More common side effects include nausea and diarrhea.

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