Navigation Links
Study Supports Popular HIV Drug Regimen

But other treatments work well, too, giving patients options

WEDNESDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- The largest study of its kind supports the use of a popular three-drug regimen for HIV patients and suggests a cocktail of two classes of drugs is a good alternative.

But an older regimen works almost as well, said study lead author Dr. Sharon Riddler, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

"It's not like 10 years ago, where there were huge differences between regimens," Riddler said. "We're looking at relatively small differences, trying to fine-tune what actually works pretty well."

The revolution in AIDS/HIV treatment came more than a decade ago, when combinations of drugs known as "cocktails" entered the market. Patients infected with HIV or who had progressed to AIDS typically had to take numerous pills each day.

Now, pharmaceutical companies have managed to combine multiple drugs into two-pill regimens or even a single pill.

In the new study, published in the May 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers examined the medical records of 753 HIV-positive patients at 55 treatment centers. The patients took one of three regimens, two of which included older drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Doctors consider them to be effective, but they can cause a variety of side effects.

The researchers found that the combination of a drug known as efavirenz (also known as Sustiva) plus two NRTI drugs did a better job of keeping a lid on levels of the virus in the body. Only 24 percent of those who took the regimen saw their viral load -- a reflection of the amount of HIV in their body -- return to detectable levels.

The virus gained a foothold in one-third of those who took lopinavir-ritonavir plus efavirenz -- two drugs instead of the usual three -- and in 27 percent of those who took lopinavir-ritonavir plus two NRTIs.

The researchers reported that all three regimens boosted the immune systems of the patients who took them.

The findings may bolster the use of efavirenz-based treatments in people whose immune systems are moderately to significantly suppressed, such as those who took part in the study, Riddler said. "For the most part, it's a simpler treatment for patients," she said.

Efavirenz isn't for everyone, Riddler cautioned. "A certain proportion of people won't tolerate efavirenz, and it can't be given to pregnant women," she said. For those patients, regimens that rely on so-called protease inhibitors -- like lopinavir-ritonavir -- may make sense, she said.

The study also suggests that it isn't necessary for all patients to be on NRTIs, Riddler said. "That gives us the opportunity to begin to look at other potential combinations now that we have availability of a couple of new classes of drugs."

And still another expert weighed in on the study.

Rowena Johnston, director of research at the Foundation for AIDS Research, said the study "could actually make a difference in patients' lives," because it gives them more information to help them choose among treatments.

Still, doctors and patients will continue to consider a constellation of factors when they decide which drugs are best, she said. Among other things, she said, they can look at different ways of gauging the effectiveness of the drugs plus side effects and the simplicity of regimens.

"If you put those pieces of information together, you have a better chance of finding the (best) combination for you," she said.

More information

Learn more about HIV treatments from

SOURCES: Sharon A. Riddler, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of medicine, University of Pittsburgh; Rowena Johnston, Ph.D., director of research, Foundation for AIDS Research, New York City; May 15, 2008, New England Journal of Medicine

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Duska Therapeutics Sponsored University of Pennsylvania Study Demonstrates ATP Improves Sperm Motility and In Vitro Fertilization in Animals
2. Study shows that prostate cancer increases the risk of bone fracture
3. Study Suggests Green Tea May Support the Medical Treatment of Stomach and Colon Cancer
4. Forty-Five Percent of U.S. Employees Have Gained Weight at Their Current Jobs, Study Finds
5. New Study: Texas Seniors 4th Hardest-Hit from Proposed Bush Administration Medicare Cuts
6. Study Finds More Than One in Two Women are Too Embarrassed to Discuss Vaginal Discomfort With Their Doctors
7. Depression and anger can plague recent university graduates: Study
8. Rising Medical Solutions and CEO Are Featured as a Case Study in the Effective Small Business Management, Ninth Edition Textbook
9. Mayo Clinic study shows acupuncture and myofascial trigger therapy treat same pain areas
10. Study: Most female child molesters were victims of sexual abuse
11. HPV linked to better survival in tonsil, tongue cancer, U-M study finds
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX , a leading ... Purzorb™ technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly ... CBD form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office ... of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office ... forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care ... have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. ... for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... influential people in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural ... views from around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House ... most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of ... baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017 OBP ... self-contained, illuminating medical devices, today announced regulatory approval ... Surveillance Agency (or Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária ... single-use, cordless surgical retractor with integrated LED light ... access, illumination and exposure of a tissue pocket ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2, 2017 Halo Labs announces the European launch of ... the HORIZON at MIBio 2017 in Cambridge, U.K ... particulate matter in biopharmaceutical samples with unprecedented speed and sensitivity while ... technique Backgrounded Membrane Imaging. ... HORIZON subvisible particle analysis system ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... Sept. 27, 2017  Commended for their devotion to personalized ... Ranked as number one in the South Florida Business Journal,s ... Inc. 5000 yearly list, the national specialty pharmacy has found ... Bardisa will soon be honored by SFBJ as the ... Set to receive his award in October, Bardisa ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: