In recent years, HIV drugs have been combined, to make them easier to take by reducing the number of pills that need to be swallowed. Perhaps the most well-know example of this is Atripla, a one pill, once-a-day HIV treatment containing efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir. Efavirenz is a type of medicine called a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. All three medicines are used separately in the treatment of HIV, but have been combined to make it a very simple
regimen to follow.
However, a small but significant percentage of people experience persistent side-effects from the efavirenz, and so alternatives are being developed. Two new combination drugs have just been approved in Europe: these are Eviplera and Gilead’s “Quad“. More detail can be found by clicking on the names.
Although now approved, it might still be some time before they become readily available for use in the UK, but they will add to the easy-to-take options available.