The FDA approved AZT in a record 20 months, a move that remains controversial today.
HIV was first reported in 1981, but it was up to six years later - in March of 1987 - that a drug to fight the virus was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On the 30 anniversary of this milestone, Time magazine takes a look at the story behind the controversial medication azidothymidine, commonly known as AZT.
Also known as Retrovir or zidovudine, the AZT compound was not originally raised with HIV in mind but was developed in the 1960 decade to fight cancer. Decades later, scientists at pharmaceutical giant Burroughs Wellcome made a version of AZT to fight HIV.
To speed up drug approval, the drugmaker conducted a study with 300 people who had AIDS. After 16 weeks, the test was discontinued because those taking AZT were much better than those who were not taking it. The results were considered a breakthrough, and the FDA approved the drug in 19's March 1987, in a record 20 months, according to Time.
Approval was granted despite many questions remaining unanswered - for For example, how long would the benefits last? - and in spite of other issues involving the judgment itself. In fact, notes Time, the track remains controversial today.
Then came a greater controversy: the price. At about $ 8.000 per year ($ 17.000 in today's dollars), AZT was unattainable to many.
Today, we have more than 41 drugs to treat HIV, many in combination and with far fewer side effects.
I, Claudio Souza, remember this "remedy" well ...
They were 6 tablets every four hours.
The first dose I took and although my stomach gave me a kick I held.
Then four hours later I took 10 and minutes later I threw up.
The third one I took, hit the stomach and came back, the nurse in the support house came to give me, I did not want to take ... She xavecou, xavecou and xavecou ... I took and vomited instantly! I told her not to bring me that again; And she came I did not take. Pow! There were six tablets every 4 hour!
The next day I went back to the doctor who gave me the medication and put it on the table and said to him:
"Look ... If it is for me to die in six months, as I was told, it is better for me to live without vomiting.
I got up, he called me and I did not even look back, I disappeared and almost two and a half years later, well beyond the six months that I was praised, the cocktail came, which was not like AZT. But I took a combination that used DDI, one that was larger than a fruit-salt tablet, and in the package I swore to myself I never read a package insert again, on the list of adverse reactions to the uninspiring expression :
- Fulminant pancreatitis
And I took it, with oc ... in hand, for six months, in a routine that required a fast before taking an hour and after taking another hour because, for a "bioavailability issue," it was necessary that they Were received in an environment of "gastric hyperacidity" that generated an ulcer and determined the change.
And last Sunday one person, contravening all the precepts of education, took my number where I make WHATSAPP available and called me.
"Desperate," he had known he had been infected with the virus two years ago but did not take the medication because he said the doctor said the medication was "too strong." And that there would be no gain, given the fact that he had a high CD4 count and a viral load that remained stable at a "safe limit" and now he had and took the medicine (the three in one) and was Desperate about it. I was fully aware of your clinical situation! Despair I see in the people who arrive here with a test result in hand, received in a laboratory where everything, including the colors of the walls are pasteurized and all the attendants have well done nails (I have the impression that this is, to get the vacancy , a condition Sine Qua Non (...), where only the charitable humanity of a psychologist and on call is lacking, to aid in the absorption of the first impact!
God knows how I stayed and how many things I thought on that sad day
Sad thing is to love well who does not know how to forgive I got to sing
Today I give thanks to God, because I saw in what you became! Get it!
"A lot of attunement ... the violet you stole for me is the only one that blooms" ... I think, in truth, this was the only thing to bloom near you
Think of him living what I and hundreds of thousands of years have lived 20 years ago ...
Moral of the story:
Sunday ... Cellphone off
A little more about AZT by Wikipedia
Zidovudine was the first drug approved for the treatment of HIV / AIDS infection. Jerome Horwitz The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University of Medicine Synthesized AZT in 1964, Using a Federal US National Institutes of Health (NIH). AZT was originally thought to be an anticancer drug, but was archived when it was concluded that it was not sufficiently effective against tumors in rats.
Em 1974 W. Ostertag Max Planck Institute na Germany Obtained evidence that AZT was active in a culture of retrovirus Of mice . At 1984, shortly after confirmation that HIV was the cause of AIDS, scientists at Burroughs Wellcome Co. (BW) began researching new compounds to treat the disease. Burroughs Wellcome already had experience in viral diseases, led by scientists including Gertrude Elion, David Barry, Phil Furman, Marty St. Clair, Janet Rideout, Sandi Lehman among others. His research effort focused on the viral enzyme Reverse transcriptase. Reverse Transcriptase is an enzyme that retroviruses, including HIV, use to replicate. Scientists at BW began by identifying and synthesizing compounds and developing a screening test for retrovirus activity in mice. A compound code BW A509U has been tested and demonstrated potent activity against the viruses of these rodents.
At the same time, Samuel Broder, Hiroaki Mitsuya, is Robert Yarchoan do National Cancer Institute (NCI) of two USA Had also started their own independent program to develop AIDS / AIDS therapy. Scientists at BW were not working directly on HIV, and as such the two groups decided to work together. In February of 1985, NCI scientists demonstrated that BW A509U had potent HIV activity in the test tube, and a few months later, they began the initial 1 phase of Clinical trials Of AZT at NCI in collaboration with scientists at Burroughs Wellcome and Duke University  . This trial demonstrated that the drug could be administered safely to HIV patients and CD4 In patients with HIV including those with AIDS / AIDS ... Continuar lendoIn Wiktionary, the free dictionary.