The relation between treatment outcome and efavirenz, atazanavir or lopinavir exposure in the NORTHIV trial of treatment-na <ve HIV-1 infected patients

Filip Josephson, Maria C. H. Andersson, Leo Flamholc, Magnus Gisslen, Lars Hagberg, Vidar Ormaasen, Anders Sonnerborg, Jan Vesterbacka, Ylva Bottiger

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    The relation between treatment outcome and trough plasma concentrations of efavirenz (EFV), atazanavir (ATV) and lopinavir (LPV) was studied in a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic substudy of the NORTHIV trial-a randomised phase IV efficacy trial comparing antiretroviral-na < ve human immunodeficiency virus-1-infected patients treated with (1) EFV + 2 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (2NRTI) once daily, (2) ritonavir-boosted ATV + 2NRTI once daily or (3) ritonavir-boosted LPV + 2NRTI twice daily. The findings were related to the generally cited minimum effective concentration levels for the respective drugs (EFV 1,000 ng/ml, ATV 150 ng/ml, LPV 1,000 ng/ml). The relation between atazanavir-induced hyperbilirubinemia and virological efficacy was also studied. Drug concentrations were sampled at weeks 4 and 48 and optionally at week 12 and analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography with UV detector. When necessary, trough values were imputed by assuming the reported average half-lives for the respective drugs. Outcomes up to week 48 are reported. No relation between plasma concentrations of EFV, ATV or LPV and virological failure, treatment withdrawal due to adverse effects or antiviral potency (viral load decline from baseline to week 4) was demonstrated. Very few samples were below the suggested minimum efficacy cut-offs, and their predictive value for treatment failure could not be validated. There was a trend toward an increased risk of virological failure in patients on ATV who had an average increase of serum bilirubin from baseline of < 25 mu mol/l. The great majority of treatment-na < ve and adherent patients on standard doses of EFV, ritonavir-boosted ATV and ritonavir-boosted LPV have drug concentrations above that considered to deliver the maximum effect for the respective drug. The results do not support the use of routine therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) for efficacy optimisation in treatment-na < ve patients on these drugs, although TDM may still be of value in some cases of altered pharmacokinetics, adverse events or drug interactions. Serum bilirubin may be a useful marker of adherence to ATV therapy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)349-357
    JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Subject classification (UKÄ)

    • Pharmacology and Toxicology

    Free keywords

    • HIV-1
    • Efavirenz
    • Effect
    • Atazanavir
    • Concentration
    • Lopinavir


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