FDA Approves Gilead's Viread

Viread is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.

Viread is used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. Viread is also used to treat chronic hepatitis B.

Viread is an HIV medication. It is in a category of HIV medicines called nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Viread 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.

Nucleotide analogues, such as Viread, are very similar to nucleoside analogues [e.g., Retrovir (AZT), Ziagen (abacavir) and Emtriva (emtricitabine)]. The only difference is that nucleotide analogues, unlike nucleoside analogues, are chemically preactivated and thus require less processing in the body for them to become active.

Viread, manufactured by Gilead Sciences, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of HIV in 2001.

Viread is available in pharmacies as a single drug, which is always combined with other HIV drugs, or in the fixed-dose combination tablets Truvada (Viread and Emtriva) and Atripla (Viread, Emtriva, and Sustiva [efavirenz]).

Viread is also active against the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the virus responsible for hepatitis B. Although it has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of hepatitis B, some doctors prescribe it to treat both hepatitis B and HIV.

Viread, an oral tablet indicated for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has been approved for use in adults. This once-daily antiviral compound is administered in combination with other antiretroviral agents for HIV treatment. Viread is the first nucleotide analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitor approved for HIV treatment.

Close to one million Americans are now infected with HIV, the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Each year only a little over one third of those infected receive anti-HIV treatments regimens. Due to new treatment innovations such as Viread, this number increases each year.