FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Anti-HIV drug effective for pregnant women with nevirapine exposure

Anti-HIV drug effective for adults and unborn children with nevirapine exposure | Courtesy of angelfire.com
A recent study suggests that efiavirenz, an anti-HIV drug, both safely and effectively inhibits the transmission of HIV from mothers to children when nevirapine exposure is provided in the womb.

Efavirenz is typically recommended for adults and older children as a segment of HIV therapy. Usually physicians recommend lopiavir/ritonavir, a separate group of anti-HIV drugs, only for young children or infants.

Before the study, which received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, physicians did not know when it was best to transition from lopiavir/ritonavir to efavirenz.

Using efavirenz instead of the typically recommended therapies can benefit the patient in several ways. Now, the treatments taste better, store more easily, cost less and require a dose only one time each day.

Some have voiced concerns that efavirenz will not be as effective for children who have nevirapine exposure because both of the drugs attack the infection of HIV in ways that are alike. It was believed this could lead to drug resistance, but the study results suggest that changing expectant mothers to efavirenz is unlikely to promote drug resistance.

Organizations in this story

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Rockville, MD

National Institutes of Health 9000 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20892

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