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June 26, 2008

HIV Drug And Heart Attack Risk

You may have already seen this story but just in case you haven't, I'm posting it here. If you're HIV+, you should be aware of this possible risk.

HIV Drug May Raise Heart Attack Risk
by The Canadian Press

Posted: June 25, 2008 - 2:30 pm ET

(Toronto, Ontario) A drug used in combination with other antiretrovirals to treat HIV infection has been linked with an increased risk of heart attack, the medication's manufacturer is warning.

GlaxoSmithKline, in conjunction with Health Canada, is advising patients taking abacavir-containing products - sold under the brand names Ziagen, Kivexa and Trizivir - of concerns raised by a recent study in The Lancet about the possible elevated heart attack risk.

Patients should not stop taking any of the abacavir-containing medications without first consulting their doctor, the company said in a release. Patients should also discuss any serious, pre-existing cardiovascular disease with their physician.

``Health-care professionals thoroughly consider the overall benefit versus the risk of a medication for each individual patient before prescribing,'' the company said. ``If patients have questions regarding their current prescription, they are asked to contact their doctor.''

Health Canada is reviewing the new safety data and will advise Canadians if further measures are considered necessary.

Until then, patients taking abacavir-containing medicinal products should consult with their health-care professional before making any change to their medication, as HIV infection can lead to complications if left untreated.

GlaxoSmithKline has sent a letter to Canadian health-care providers informing them of this new safety information.

Story Resource: 365gay.com