AIDS Home > Reyataz

Reyataz is a medication that is prescribed for treating HIV and AIDS. It is a type of protease inhibitor that is only approved for use in combination with other HIV medicines as part of an HIV "cocktail." While Reyataz is not a cure, it can help stop HIV from multiplying in the body. Potential side effects include nausea, jaundice, and headaches.

What Is Reyataz?

Reyataz® (atazanavir sulfate) is a prescription medicine used as a treatment for HIV and AIDS. It is approved for use only in combination with other HIV medications. For people who have been on HIV medications in the past (especially if these medications did not work adequately), it is usually recommended that Reyataz be taken along with ritonavir (Norvir®), a similar medication that can make Reyataz more effective.
 
(Click Reyataz Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes Reyataz?

The medication is made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.
 

How Does It Work?

Reyataz is part of a group of HIV medications known as protease inhibitors. These medicines work by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply.
 
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. Like other viruses, it must use a person's own cells to reproduce. Once inside an infected cell, the HIV virus uses the cell to make DNA, which enables it to make new viruses that can spread to other cells. The DNA is made in long strands that must be clipped into shorter, usable strands using enzymes called proteases.
 
Reyataz is a protease inhibitor, which means that it stops protease enzymes from clipping DNA into short strands. Since the long, unclipped DNA strands cannot be used to make new viruses, this helps stop the spread of HIV to other uninfected cells.
 
Reyataz is not a cure for HIV or AIDS, however. It can help stop HIV from infecting healthy cells in the body, but it does not help cells that have already been infected with the virus.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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