AIDS Drug May Raise Risk of Heart Attack

New finding about important treatment confuses doctors
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2008 6:52 PM CDT
The FDA is deciding whether to take action because of the new findings.   ((c) mararie)
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(Newser) – Patients who use an important and widely used AIDS drug have twice the risk of heart attacks, a new study shows. Abacavir is a major component in the so-called "drug cocktails" used to control HIV. "This is a head-scratcher, in the sense that we don't really understand the biology here," one expert told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The FDA is now reviewing whether to restrict abacavir, though the agency stressed that there's no proof the drug caused the increased risk. Many patients taking it have other health problems that muddy the results, the Chronicle notes. At least one leading doctor says he'd be reluctant to tell patients to switch until the findings are sussed out.