FDA Approves ViiV Healthcare's Ziagen

Treating HIV infection with other medications. Abacavir is a nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI). It works by slowing down the growth of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Ziagen is an HIV medication. It is in a category of HIV medications called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Ziagen prevents HIV from altering the genetic material of healthy CD4 cells. This prevents the cells from producing new virus and decreases the amount of virus in the body.

Ziagen, manufactured by ViiV Healthcare, was approved for the treatment of HIV by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998.

Ziagen is available in pharmacies as a single drug, which is always combined with at least two other HIV drugs, or in combination tablets: Trizivir and Epzicom. Each Trizivir tablet contains a single dose of Ziagen, Retrovir (zidovudine), and Epivir (lamivudine). Each Epzicom tablet contains a single dose of Ziagen and Epivir.

What type of drug is Ziagen?

Ziagen belongs to a class of HIV drugs called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), also known as nucleoside analogs or “nukes.”

How does Ziagen work?

The NRTIs block reverse transcriptase, a protein that HIV needs to make more copies of itself. This may slow down HIV disease.

Who is Ziagen approved for?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Ziagen for use in combination with other HIV drugs for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children over three months of age.

Ziagen belongs to a class of antiviral drugs known as nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Ziagen is used alongside other medications to treat patients with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

HIV is a potentially life-threatening virus that attacks the lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that help the body fight off dangerous bacteria and infection. While Ziagen will not cure HIV, it inhibits the virus from reproducing and slows its progression throughout the body.

Ziagen will not prevent the transmission of HIV. Patients undergoing treatment with Ziagen should be aware that they can still pass the virus on to others through unprotected sex or the sharing of needles.