US approves new HIV drug

May 21, 2011

The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a new drug, Edurant, to fight HIV in combination with other antiretrovirals already on the market.

Made by the New Jersey based Tibotec Therapeutics, Edurant helps block the virus from replicating and is part of a class of drugs known as non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor.

The pill is to be taken once daily with food, the FDA said.

"Patients may respond differently to various or experience varied side effects," said Edward Cox, director of the office of antimicrobial products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

"FDA's approval of Edurant provides an additional treatment option for patients who are starting ."

The approval followed phase II and II trials that showed that patients who had not received previous therapy saw an 83 percent lower viral load after they took Edurant along with other antiretroviral drugs.

Side effects included depression, insomnia, headache and rash.

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