The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved HIV drug Isentress (raltegravir) for use among children and adolescents aged 2-18 years. This Merck & Co. drug is part of a group of antiviral drugs called integrase
inhibitors that block the virus from infecting cells and reproducing.
Isentress which was approved in 2007 for adults is a twice-a-day pill and is also available as a chewable tablet. However, only the tablet form has been approved for children aged 2-11. The most common side effects among patients include insomnia and headaches.
Edward Cox of the FDA's center for drug evaluation and research said, "Many young children and adolescents are living with HIV and this approval provides an important additional option for their treatment."