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Safety of protease inhibitors in HIV-infected pregnant women

Authors Chougrani I, Luton D, Matheron S, Mandelbrot L, Azria E

Received 29 March 2013

Accepted for publication 26 June 2013

Published 27 September 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 253—262


Checked for plagiarism Yes

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Peer reviewer comments 3

Imène Chougrani,1 Dominique Luton,1,2 Sophie Matheron,3 Laurent Mandelbrot,2,4 Elie Azria1,2

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bichat Claude Bernard Hospital, Paris Diderot University, Paris, 2Departement Hospitalo-Universitaire "Risk and Pregnancy", Paris, 3Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Bichat Claude Bernard Hospital, Paris Diderot University, Paris, 4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Louis Mourier Hospital, Paris Diderot University, Colombes, France

Abstract: The dire conditions of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome epidemic and the immense benefits of antiretroviral prophylaxis in prevention of mother-to-child transmission far outweigh the potential for adverse effects and undeniably justify the rapid and widespread use of this therapy, despite incomplete safety data. Highly active antiretroviral therapy has now become standard care, and more than half the validated regimens include protease inhibitors. This paper reviews current knowledge of the safety of these drugs during pregnancy, in terms of maternal and fetal outcomes. Transfer of protease inhibitors across the placenta is known to be minimal, and current data about birth defects and fetal malignancies are reassuring. Maternal liver function and glucose metabolism should be monitored in women treated with protease inhibitor-based regimens, but concerns about the development of maternal resistance, should treatment be discontinued, have been shown to be groundless. Neonates should be screened for hematologic abnormalities, although these are rarely severe or permanent and are not usually related to the protease inhibitor component of the antiretroviral combination. Current findings concerning pre-eclampsia and growth restriction are discordant, and further research is needed to address the question of placental vascular complications. The increased risk of preterm birth attributed to protease inhibitors should be interpreted with caution considering the discrepant results and the multitude of confounding factors often overlooked. Although data are thus far reassuring, further research is needed to shed light on unresolved controversies about the safety of protease inhibitors during pregnancy.

Keywords: human immunodeficiency virus, pregnancy, protease inhibitors

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