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Are Weekend Drug Breaks Possible?

Are Weekend Drug Breaks Possible?


HIV-positive adults taking a nonnucleoside-based antiretroviral regimen might be able to take weekly weekend drug holidays, according to investigators at the Community Research Initiative of New England. The preliminary study showed that seven patients taking a Viramune-based drug cocktail did not lose viral suppression on a five-day-on, two-day-off dosing schedule. All but one of the patients maintained optimal levels of the drug in their bloodstream during the drug break. Ten patients on Sustiva-based regimens similarly experienced no viral rebounds on weekend breaks. However, two of 10 study subjects on protease inhibitor'based regimens experienced rising viral levels after 24 weeks. The researchers say patients taking drug breaks reported a higher quality of life than those on continuous therapy and that drug costs decreased by 28%. The researchers recommend additional studies to determine whether long-term intermittent therapy may be possible.

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