HIV/AIDS patients have to face a life that will include numerous amounts of prescription drugs and various treatments. For some this is not only costly but managing pills and your life is a daunting task. A new drug may be on the way that simplifies HIV/AIDS treatment into one pill.

Now researchers have found a pill that may be effective in HIV treatment in the near future.  A new study demonstrates a dug, which combines several medications into one that may help patients take fewer pills.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School randomly assigned 700 North American patients two different single-pill treatments, Quad and Atripla. Atripla had been previously approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006.

After close to a year, 88 percent of the patients randomly chosen for this study, on the Quad experienced a suppression of the HIV virus. Patients on the Atripla, experienced an 84 percent suppression, according to the study.

Both drugs were also proven to be very safe with only a 3.7 percent of patients ending the Quad experience and 5.1 percent of patients ending the Atripla experience due to adverse side effects.

According to Dr. Paul Sax, clinical director of infectious disease at Harvard Medical School, patient’s response to Quad, overall were more favorable, even in those with high HIV viral loads that were difficult to treat.

Side effects differed between Quad and Atripla. Quad was known to cause fewer rashes and central nervous system side effects, compared to Atripla, but it did increase nausea. Generally, both treatments were very tolerable.  

The FDA advisory committee met last month to review the results regarding Quad and has voted in its favor. The final decision will be made this summer, Sax mentioned.

According to Dr. Daliah Mehdi, chief clinical officer with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, results reveals people are more prone to taking their medications and not missing a dose. Patients do better with a single-pill tablet.

Dr. Ronald Mitsuyasu, a professor of medicine at UCLA believes giving patients a single-tablet option may be better and can result in a better adherence ultimately increasing the outcome. 

The study was published in The Lancet.