Common anti-HIV drug combo halves HIV drug resistance risk in expectant mothers

November 14th, 2007 - 10:23 am ICT by admin  

Intake of tenofovir and emtricitabine with nevirapine during labor deeply reduces the amount of resistance to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptate inhibitors (NNRTIs), such as nevirapine, which HIV-positive women take to lessen the risk of child infection from mother.

The study, by researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, involved 399 participants, who were randomly assigned to receive or not receive single dose tenofovir and emtricitabine along with routine care, starting the anti-HIV drug zidovudine (or AZT) at 32 weeks gestation, and then ingesting a single dose of nevirapine at the start of labor.

According to the researchers the combination of these two drugs with nevirapine reduced the resistance to NNRTIs by more than half at six weeks after delivery.

Out of the total participants 12 percent of the women who were given the tenofovir and emtricitabine dose developed resistance against NNRTI , compared to 25 percent who did not receive the drug.

Tenofovir and emtricitabine were found to be safe, with no side effects. Although these additional drugs did prevent NNRTI resistance, their use did not lead to substantial reductions in mother-to-child HIV transmission, the researchers said.

According to the authors, the objective of the study was to identify difference in the presence of NNRTI resistance mutations after six weeks of delivery. The study was conducted in Lusaka, Zambia between 2005 and 2007.

“The simplicity and effectiveness of this regimen is an important aspect of this intervention,” Lancet quoted Benjamin Chi, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UAB, as saying.

“HIV-infected pregnant women who take nevirapine in labor now have an easy way to reduce some of the negative consequences associated with the drug,” he added.

The study appeared online in the ‘Lancet’ journal. (ANI)

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