The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug that consists of four different medications to help treat HIV infection.
This once-a-day treatment is intended to be used on people who have not previously been treated for the infection.
Gilead Sciences Inc’s pill will be sold under the brand name Stribild, according to the FDA.
This HIV treatment contains two previously approved antiviral drugs currently sold as the combination pill, Truvada, which contains emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. These drugs have been combined with cobicistat and elvitegravir. Elvitegravir is a drug that interferes with one of the enzymes HIV needs to accumulate.
Of course this HIV treatment does come with side-effects. Stribild will have a boxed warning regarding the potentially dangerous symptoms of the pill. Side effects may include nausea, diarrhea, new or worsening kidney problems, decreased bone mineral density, fat redistribution and changes in the immune system.
The FDA stated that Stribild is not approved to treat chronic hepatitis B virus infection.
The HIV treatment pill will be required to undergo further studies in order to characterize the drug’s safety in women and children as well as how resistance to the drug develops.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.2 million people in the United States are infected with HIV.