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Serious adverse events are uncommon with combination neonatal antiretroviral prophylaxis: a retrospective case review.

PloS one (2015-05-23)
Christiana Smith, Jeri E Forster, Myron J Levin, Jill Davies, Jennifer Pappas, Kay Kinzie, Emily Barr, Suzanne Paul, Elizabeth J McFarland, Adriana Weinberg

Six weeks of zidovudine (ZDV) is recommended for postnatal prophylaxis of HIV-exposed infants, but combination antiretrovirals are indicated if HIV transmission risk is increased. We investigated the frequency and severity of adverse events (AE) in infants receiving multiple drug prophylaxis compared to ZDV alone. In this retrospective review of 148 HIV-exposed uninfected infants born between 1997-2009, we determined clinical and laboratory AE that occurred between days of life 8-42. Thirty-six infants received combination prophylaxis; among those, a three-drug regimen containing ZDV, lamivudine, and nevirapine was most common (53%). Rates of laboratory AE grade ≥1 were as follows for the combination prophylaxis and ZDV alone groups, respectively: neutropenia 55% and 39%; anemia 50% and 39%; thrombocytopenia 0 and 3%; elevated aspartate aminotransferase 3% and 3%; elevated alanine aminotransferase 0 and 1%; hyperbilirubinemia 19% and 42%. Anemia occurred more frequently in infants who received three-drug prophylaxis compared to infants who received ZDV alone (63% vs. 39%, p = 0.04); all anemia AE were grade 1 or 2 in the three-drug prophylaxis group. Overall, 75% of infants on combination prophylaxis and 66% of infants on ZDV alone developed grade ≥1 AE (p = 0.32), and 17% of infants in either group developed grade ≥3 AE. Stavudine was substituted for ZDV in 23 infants due to anemia or neutropenia. After this antiretroviral change, 50% of evaluable infants demonstrated improvement in AE grade, and 25% had no change. In conclusion, low grade anemia, neutropenia, and hyperbilirubinemia occurred frequently regardless of the prophylactic regimen, but serious AE were uncommon. Although most AE were typical of ZDV toxicity, the combination of ZDV with lamivudine and nevirapine resulted in an increased frequency of low-grade anemia. Further studies are needed to identify prophylactic regimens with less toxicity for infants born to HIV-infected mothers.

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3′-Azido-3′-deoxythymidine, ≥98% (HPLC)