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Twice-daily versus once-daily antiretroviral therapy and coformulation strategies in HIV-infected adults: benefits, risks, or burden?

Authors Nachega J, Rosenkranz, Pham

Published 28 December 2011 Volume 2011:5 Pages 645—651


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Jean B Nachega1–3, Bernd Rosenkranz4, Paul A Pham5
Department of International Health, 2Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA; 3Department of Medicine and Centre for Infectious Diseases, 4Division of Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, Capetown, South Africa; 5Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Abstract: The recent development of once-daily antiretroviral agents and fixed-dose combination formulations has been an important development in antiretroviral regimen simplification. Recent studies indicate that once-daily antiretroviral regimens improve adherence, especially in antiretroviral-naïve patients and in difficult-to-treat populations, such as the homeless or marginally housed. However, there are potential risks with the higher peak and lower trough plasma drug concentrations that may result from certain once-daily formulations. Due to the multifactorial and complex nature of adherence behavior, clinicians’ efforts to improve patient adherence should not be limited to prescribing once-daily regimens, but should also consider social support, side effect management, and adherence support tools, such as pillbox organizers and other targeted interventions. Additional research will clarify the benefits of once-daily and fixed-dose combination regimens on clinical and virologic outcomes. Comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of regimen simplification could help facilitate evidence-based decisions regarding antiretroviral regimen choices.

Keywords: regimen adherence, regimen simplification, health care costs, fixed-dose combination, once-daily antiretroviral drugs

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