The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved maraviroc (Selzentry, Pfizer), an antiretroviral drug for adults with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. It is the first in a new class of drugs designed to slow the advancement of the infection.
Maraviroc is approved for use in combination with other antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of adults with CCR5-tropic HIV-1 with elevated viral levels and who have been treated with other HIV medications. Instead of fighting HIV inside white blood cells, maraviroc prevents the virus from entering uninfected cells by blocking the predominant route of entry, the CCR5 co-receptor.
The labeling includes a boxed warning about liver toxicity and a statement in the Warnings/Precautions section about the possibility of heart attacks. The FDA recommends that HIV-positive women not breast-feed, whether or not they are taking antiretroviral medications.
Pfizer plans to make the treatment available for patients with no insurance or with limited financial resources.
(Sources: FDA; AIDS Healthcare Foundation, August 7, 2007.)