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Long-term effectiveness of first-line non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based antiretroviral therapy in Ghana

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mark Booth


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Objectives: Information on the long-term effectiveness and tolerability of efavirenz- or nevirapine-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Africa is lacking. The primary objective of this retrospective observational study was to compare the long-term clinical and immunological outcomes of efavirenz- versus nevirapine-based first-line ART in a large government clinic in Ghana. Patients and methods: The main outcomes were AIDS, death, ART-related toxicity, discontinuation of ARTand a composite endpoint of death, AIDS or ARTdiscontinuation. These time-to-event outcomeswere compared using a Cox proportional hazards regression model. CD4 counts on ART were compared using a mixed-effects model. Results: A total of 3990 patients started non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based ART between 2004 and 2010, of which 2369 (59%) were on efavirenz. No significant differences were apparent between each NNRTI for subsequent risk of AIDS, death or the composite of treatment failure; however, stavudine usewas independently associated with an increased risk of death [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.60 (95% CI: 1.21-2.11)]. There was an increased risk of early toxicity with nevirapine leading to discontinuation [adjusted HR 1.53 (95% CI: 1.23-1.97)], mostly due to excess skin rashes in the first 2 months of treatment; however, overall discontinuation rates were low. Conclusions: Therewas no difference in the long-term effectiveness of efavirenz- and nevirapine-based ART in this population; however, patients initiating nevirapine were more likely to develop early toxicity and discontinue this drug. The excess mortality observed in patients taking stavudine is of concern and should prompt increased efforts to replace it with alternative antiretroviral drugs in developing countries. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sarfo FS, Sarfo MA, Kasim A, Phillips R, Booth M, Chadwick D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Year: 2014

Volume: 69

Issue: 1

Pages: 254-261

Print publication date: 01/01/2014

Online publication date: 03/09/2013

Acceptance date: 26/07/2013

ISSN (print): 0305-7453

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2091


DOI: 10.1093/jac/dkt336

PubMed id: 24003181


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