Combination therapies, effectiveness, and adherence in patients with HIV infection: clinical utility of a single tablet of emtricitabine, rilpivirine, and tenofovir
Mark A Wainberg
McGill University AIDS Centre, Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Abstract: A recent addition to the anti-human immunodeficiency virus armamentarium of drugs is rilpivirine, which is a potent non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. This review focuses on the clinical utility of rilpivirine in terms of efficacy and virologic suppression, drug resistance, drug-drug interactions, and safety. The rilpivirine-tenofovir-emtricitabine combination is a safe and effective regimen for use in most patients who are ready to start first-line anti-human immunodeficiency virus therapy. Although drug resistance can be a problem in patients who initiate therapy on rilpivirine-based regimens with viral loads > 100,000 copies of viral RNA/mL, this problem can be alleviated by first starting therapy with efavirenz-tenofovir-emtricitabine for several months to suppress viral load to <50 copies/mL before switching to rilpivirine-based therapy. E138K is the most important mutation associated with resistance against rilpivirine and its development must be avoided whenever possible, because this mutation confers broad cross-resistance against all approved members of the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor family of drugs.
Keywords: non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, rilpivirine, human immunodeficiency virus, treatment, resistance
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