Med Monitor

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April 14 2006 12:00 AM ET

HIVers who switch from Combivir to Truvada improve their chances of suppressing HIV viral levels to below 50, according to a study presented at the 45th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. About 59% of the study's 198 subjects had a viral load below 50 prior to switching to Truvada, but that percentage climbed to 76% after changing drugs.

A label change for Reyataz says the protease inhibitor should be dosed separately from Videx. Reyataz should be taken with food two hours before or one hour after taking Videx, according to the new instructions.

Improvements in blood lipid levels are greater when switching from Retrovir or Zerit to cocktails containing Viread as opposed to switching to Ziagen, according to a study presented at the 45th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. At the 48-week point after switching, patients changing to Viread posted decreases in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, compared to slight increases among those switching to Ziagen.

A study presented at the 13th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections showed that although some protease inhibitors should not be taken along with acid-reducing medications, it is safe to take the acid-lowering drugs with Kaletra.

Serono Laboratories completed a Phase III clinical trial of its recombinant human growth hormone Serostim in treating HIV-related fat redistribution and plans to file for FDA approval of the treatment in the first half of this year. Serostim is currently approved to treat HIV-related wasting.

Pregnant HIV-positive women resistant to antiretroviral drugs can still prevent transmitting the virus to their infants by adding Fuzeon to their failing drug regimens, according to two case studies reported in the January 9 edition of the journal AIDS.

A 48-week study of drug-resistant HIVers has shown that Aptivus, when boosted with Norvir, achieves a greater decrease in HIV viral levels than four other boosted protease drugs. More than 33% of drug-resistant patients taking Aptivus achieved a significant reduction in viral levels, compared to slightly more than 15% of those taking the other boosted protease inhibitors.

Data from a 96-week study comparing Norvir-boosted Reyataz to Kaletra has shown that both drugs achieve a similar level of viral control but that Reyataz decreases total cholesterol and fasting triglyceride levels while Kaletra raises blood-lipid levels.

Tibotec has opened an early-access program for its experimental protease inhibitor TMC114. The program is open to 5,000 HIVers who are resistant to other anti-HIV medications. For more information and complete enrollment requirements, send e-mail to [email protected].

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