AIDS Drug Viracept Has Cancer Causing Chemicals – Advisory For Pediatric and Pregnant Patients With HIV

AIDS Drug Viracept Has Cancer Causing Chemicals – Advisory For Pediatric and Pregnant Patients With HIV

Viracept

(Best Syndication) The protease inhibitor (PI) drug Nelfinavir (Viracept) used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1 and HIV-2) in patients with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) may contain chemicals known to cause cancer. The US marketer of the drug, Pfizer notified the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the drug contains traces of ethyl methanesulfonate.

The chemical is an impurity created in the manufacturing process. Although there is no data for humans, it was found to be carcinogenic in animal studies. Back in June Roche recalled all of the drugs in Europe, but Pfizer has not recalled the drug in the US yet. The drug may also be used in combination with other drugs.

The levels of the contaminant are lower in the US drug compared to the Roche recall in Europe. The manufacturers are looking for ways to lower the levels even more.

Pediatric patients with stable HIV should stay on the drug, but others who are not currently on the drug should not start until further notice. Pregnant women should not start taking the drug either.

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By Jeffrey Workman
Best Syndication News Health Writer

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