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Novel strategies in the use of lopinavir/ritonavir for the treatment of HIV infection in children

Authors Martinez BL, Riordan A

Published 29 March 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 59—67


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Beatriz Larru Martinez1, F Andrew I Riordan2

1Laboratorio Inmuno-Biología Molecular, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; 2Department of Infectious Diseases, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK

Abstract: Lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) is considered by many as the first choice protease inhibitor (PI) for children. This co-formulation avoids the need for children to take ritonavir separately to “boost” the levels of lopinavir. LPV/r has high virologic potency, an excellent toxicity profile and a high barrier to the development of viral resistance. However, LPV/r has poor tolerability of the oral suspension (due to the poor taste of ritonavir), difficult dosing requirements and metabolic side effects, especially hyperlipidemia. The new tablet low-dose formulation (100/25 mg) may allow more convenient antiretroviral treatment in children. Novel strategies of LPV/r in childhood could maximize its advantages. For example, infants infected with HIV despite single dose Nevirapine after birth need effective combination antiretroviral treatment. This can be given using a higher dose of LPV/r with therapeutic drug monitoring. Other novel uses include once daily LPV/r regimens in older children and adolescents and lower doses of LPV/r in certain populations, which may decrease hyperlipidemia. Heavily pre-treated children might benefit from a double PI/r regimen which includes LPV/r. The high potency of LPV/r needs to be balanced with convenient regimens, to enhance adherence and decrease toxicity whenever possible. The aim of this review is to discuss the rationale behind these novel strategies of LPV/r use in pediatric antiretroviral treatment as well as their results and limitations.

Keywords: human immunodeficiency virus, children, antiretroviral therapy, lopinavir, ritonavir

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