Smokers Face a Med Risk

BY HIV Plus Editors

October 29 2009 12:00 AM ET

HIVers taking the protease inhibitor Reyataz might want to kick their smoking habit and stop using marijuana, according to a study presented at the 2009 Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

A two-year review of HIV-positive adults living in four U.S. cities found that tobacco and marijuana use resulted in significant reductions in Reyataz concentrations in the body; 50% of the tobacco users and 36% of marijuana users had Reyataz levels below that which effectively suppresses HIV and at which drug resistance can develop.

And the more one smoked or used pot, the lower the concentration of the protease inhibitor, according to the data. The researchers believe tobacco and marijuana may interfere with a key liver enzyme involved in the processing of Reyataz in the body.

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