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What is Maraviroc?

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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Maraviroc is a medication used to treat individuals diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The dosage can vary based on the circumstances of the individual, and this generic drug is generally prescribed alongside other medications. As with similar drugs, maraviroc is not a cure for the disease but helps to manage it.

Available in tablet form, maraviroc is usually taken twice a day. The drug acts to help keep the virus that causes HIV from invading normal, healthy cells. It does so by entering cell structures called receptors; once the drug has attached itself to these receptors, there is no place for HIV to enter the cells. There are a number of variations of HIV, and maraviroc is specifically meant to block the virus that causes chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5)-tropic HIV-1. It falls into a class of medications called entry inhibitors.

While it is not a cure for the disease, it does help prevent further spread of the virus through the body. Blood tests can be performed to determine the level of the virus present in the blood, a number which is called the viral load. A lower number means less of the disease is present, and this can help maintain the strength of the immune system and better prepare the body to fight off infections.

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Those who are taking maraviroc and its companion medications can still spread the disease to others. Other pre-existing conditions may create complications in individuals who begin taking the drug, so it is vitally important for full disclosure with a medical professional. Those with liver or kidney disease can be at risk for severe side effects, and some common medications used to regulate blood pressure can also interfere with the functionality of the drug.

An individual with a heart condition may not be a candidate for therapy with maraviroc, as it can cause changes to the cardiac system that can result in a heart attack as well as a drop in blood pressure. Typical side effects last a short time and often disappear after the individual has been taking the medication for some time. These side effects include flu-like symptoms, such as body aches and joint pain, stomach cramps and a fever. There is also the possibility of dizziness and the development of a rash. Some individuals may have a severe allergic reaction to the medication, so it is important to tell doctors of any other allergies that may be present.

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