FDA Logo A drug namely Isentress was approved way back in 2007 for use among adult HIV patients. Expanding the use of this drug, experts from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved of Isentress, also known by the name raltegravir for treatment of HIV-1 infected patients in the age-group of 2 to 18.

As reported, the aforesaid medication is to be consumed along with other anti-retroviral drugs for treating HIV-1 infection. This drug belongs to a class of medicines known as HIV integrase strand transfer inhibitors, which functions by dampening the progress of HIV in the body.

“Many young children and adolescents are living with HIV and this approval provides an important additional option for their treatment,” commented Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H, director, Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Isentress is available as a tablet and a chewable variant which is to be given 2 times per day along with food or without it. Considering that both forms of the tablet cannot be interchanged, the chewable form is approved for use only among kids aged between 2 and 11.

In the assessment process, a set of 96 children and adolescents in the age-group 2 to 18 and suffering from HIV-1 infection were exposed to Isentress. After a span of 24 weeks, 53% of subjects treated with Isentress seemed to possess negligible proportions of HIV in their bloodstream.

Notably, the side-effects of this drug are insomnia and headache, as reported. No variation in the side-effects had been observed in adults and children. As a word of caution, the team mentioned that Isentress does not entirely treat HIV infections implying that prolonged HIV therapy is necessary to control the infection and decrease its spread.

The drug Isentress is manufactured by Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck.