Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents
What Not to Use
Last Updated: March 27, 2012; Last Reviewed: March 27, 2012
Some antiretroviral (ARV) regimens or components are not generally recommended because of suboptimal antiviral potency, unacceptable toxicities, or pharmacologic concerns. These are summarized below.
Antiretroviral Regimens Not Recommended
Monotherapy with nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI). Single-NRTI therapy does not demonstrate potent and sustained antiviral activity and should not be used (AII). For prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), zidovudine (ZDV) monotherapy is not recommended but might be considered in certain unusual circumstances in women with HIV RNA <1,000 copies/mL, although the use of a potent combination regimen is preferred. (See Perinatal Guidelines,1 available at https://aidsinfo.nih.gov.)
Single-drug treatment regimens with a ritonavir (RTV)-boosted protease inhibitor (PI), either lopinavir (LPV),2 atazanavir (ATV),3 or darunavir (DRV)4-5 are under investigation with mixed results, and cannot be recommended outside of a clinical trial at this time.
Dual-NRTI regimens. These regimens are not recommended because they have not demonstrated potent and sustained antiviral activity compared with triple-drug combination regimens (AI).6
Triple-NRTI regimens. In general, triple-NRTI regimens other than abacavir/lamivudine/zidovudine (ABC/3TC/ZDV) (BI) and possibly lamivudine/zidovudine + tenofovir (3TC/ZDV + TDF) (BII) should not be used because of suboptimal virologic activity7-9 or lack of data (AI).
Antiretroviral Components Not Recommended
Atazanavir (ATV) + indinavir (IDV). Both of these PIs can cause Grade 3 to 4 hyperbilirubinemia and jaundice. Additive adverse effects may be possible when these agents are used concomitantly. Therefore, these two PIs are not recommended for combined use (AIII).
Didanosine (ddI) + stavudine (d4T). The combined use of ddI and d4T as a dual-NRTI backbone can result in a high incidence of toxicities, particularly peripheral neuropathy, pancreatitis, and lactic acidosis.10-13 This combination has been implicated in the deaths of several HIV-infected pregnant women secondary to severe lactic acidosis with or without hepatic steatosis and pancreatitis.14 Therefore, the combined use of ddI and d4T is not recommended (AII).
Didanosine (ddI) + tenofovir (TDF). Use of ddI + TDF may increase ddI concentrations15 and serious ddI-associated toxicities including pancreatitis and lactic acidosis.16-17 These toxicities may be lessened by ddI dose reduction. The use of this combination has also been associated with immunologic nonresponse or CD4 cell decline despite viral suppression,18-19 high rates of early virologic failure,20-21 and rapid selection of resistance mutations.20, 22 Because of these adverse outcomes, this dual-NRTI combination is not generally recommended (AII). Clinicians caring for patients who are clinically stable on regimens containing ddI + TDF should consider altering the NRTIs to avoid this combination.
Two-non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (2-NNRTI) combinations. In the 2NN trial, ARV-naive participants were randomized to receive once- or twice-daily nevirapine (NVP) versus efavirenz (EFV) versus EFV plus NVP, all combined with d4T and 3TC.23 A higher frequency of clinical adverse events that led to treatment discontinuation was reported in participants randomized to the two-NNRTI arm. Both EFV and NVP may induce metabolism of etravirine (ETR), which leads to reduction in ETR drug exposure.24 Based on these findings, the Panel does not recommend using two NNRTIs in combination in any regimen (AI).
Efavirenz (EFV) in first trimester of pregnancy and in women with significant childbearing potential. EFV use was associated with significant teratogenic effects in nonhuman primates at drug exposures similar to those representing human exposure. Several cases of congenital anomalies have been reported after early human gestational exposure to EFV.25-26 EFV should be avoided in pregnancy, particularly during the first trimester, and in women of childbearing potential who are trying to conceive or who are not using effective and consistent contraception (AIII). If no other ARV options are available for the woman who is pregnant or at risk of becoming pregnant, the provider should consult with a clinician who has expertise in both HIV infection and pregnancy. (See https://aidsinfo.nih.gov.)
Emtricitabine (FTC) + lamivudine (3TC). Both of these drugs have similar resistance profiles and have minimal additive antiviral activity. Inhibition of intracellular phosphorylation may occur in vivo, as seen with other dual-cytidine analog combinations.27 These two agents should not be used as a dual-NRTI combination (AIII).
Etravirine (ETR) + unboosted PI. ETR may induce the metabolism and significantly reduce the drug exposure of unboosted PIs. Appropriate doses of the PIs have not been established24 (AII).
Etravirine (ETR) + ritonavir (RTV)-boosted atazanavir (ATV) or fosamprenavir (FPV). ETR may alter the concentrations of these PIs. Appropriate doses of the PIs have not been established24 (AII).
Etravirine (ETR) + ritonavir (RTV)-boosted tipranavir (TPV). RTV-boosted TPV significantly reduces ETR concentrations. These drugs should not be coadministered24 (AII).
Nevirapine (NVP) initiated in ARV-naive women with CD4 counts >250 cells/mm3 or in ARV-naive men with CD4 counts >400 cells/mm3. Greater risk of symptomatic hepatic events, including serious and life-threatening events, has been observed in these patient groups. NVP should not be initiated in these patients (BI) unless the benefit clearly outweighs the risk.28-30 Patients who experience CD4 count increases to levels above these thresholds as a result of antiretroviral therapy (ART) can be safely switched to NVP.31
Unboosted darunavir (DRV), saquinavir (SQV), or tipranavir (TPV). The virologic benefit of these PIs has been demonstrated only when they were used with concomitant RTV. Therefore, use of these agents as part of a combination regimen without RTV is not recommended (AII).
Stavudine (d4T) + zidovudine (ZDV). These two NRTIs should not be used in combination because of antagonism demonstrated in vitro32 and in vivo33 (AII).
|Antiretroviral Regimens Not Recommended|
|Monotherapy with NRTI (AII)||
|Dual-NRTI regimens (AI)||
|Triple-NRTI regimens (AI) except for ABC/ZDV/3TC (BI) or possibly TDF + ZDV/3TC (BII)||
|Antiretroviral Components Not Recommended as Part of an Antiretroviral Regimen|
|ATV + IDV (AIII)||
|ddI + d4T (AII)||
|ddI + TDF (AII)||
|2-NNRTI combination (AI)||
|EFV in first trimester of pregnancy or in women with significant childbearing potential (AIII)||
|FTC + 3TC (AIII)||
|ETR + unboosted PI (AII)||
|ETR + RTV-boosted ATV or FPV (AII)||
|ETR + RTV-boosted TPV (AII)||
|NVP in ARV-naive women with CD4 count >250 cells/mm3 or men with CD4 count >400 cells/mm3 (BI)||
|d4T + ZDV (AII)||
|Unboosted DRV, SQV, or TPV (AII)||
|Key to Acronyms: 3TC = lamivudine, ABC = abacavir, ATV = atazanavir, d4T = stavudine, ddI = didanosine, DRV = darunavir, EFV = efavirenz, ETR = etravirine, FPV = fosamprenavir, FTC = emitricitabine, IDV = indinavir, NVP = nevirapine, RTV = ritonavir, SQV = saquinavir, TDF = tenofovir, TPV = tipranavir, ZDV = zidovudine|
- Panel on Treatment of HIV-Infected Pregnant Women and Prevention of Perinatal Transmission. Recommendations for use of antiretroviral drugs in pregnant HIV-1-infected women for maternal health and interventions to reduce perinatal HIV transmission in the United States. Available at https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/lvguidelines/PerinatalGL.pdf.
- Delfraissy JF, Flandre P, Delaugerre C, et al. Lopinavir/ritonavir monotherapy or plus zidovudine and lamivudine in antiretroviral-naive HIV-infected patients. AIDS. 2008;22(3):385-393.
- Swindells S, DiRienzo AG, Wilkin T, et al. Regimen simplification to atazanavir-ritonavir alone as maintenance antiretroviral therapy after sustained virologic suppression. JAMA. 2006;296(7):806-814.
- Arribas JR, Horban A, Gerstoft J, et al. The MONET trial: darunavir/ritonavir with or without nucleoside analogues, for patients with HIV RNA below 50 copies/ml. AIDS. 2010;24(2):223-230.
- Katlama C, Valantin MA, Algarte-Genin M, et al. Efficacy of darunavir/ritonavir maintenance monotherapy in patients with HIV-1 viral suppression: a randomized open-label, noninferiority trial, MONOI-ANRS 136. AIDS. 2010;24(15):2365-2374.
- Hirsch M, Steigbigel R, Staszewski S, et al. A randomized, controlled trial of indinavir, zidovudine, and lamivudine in adults with advanced human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection and prior antiretroviral therapy. J Infect Dis. 1999;180(3):659-665.
- Gallant JE, Rodriguez AE, Weinberg WG, et al. Early virologic nonresponse to tenofovir, abacavir, and lamivudine in HIV-infected antiretroviral-naive subjects. J Infect Dis. 2005;192(11):1921-1930.
- Bartlett JA, Johnson J, Herrera G, et al. Long-term results of initial therapy with abacavir and lamivudine combined with efavirenz, amprenavir/ritonavir, or stavudine. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2006;43(3):284-292.
- Barnas D, Koontz D, Bazmi H, et al. Clonal resistance analyses of HIV type-1 after failure of therapy with didanosine, lamivudine and tenofovir. Antivir Ther. 2010;15(3):437-441.
- Moore RD, Wong WM, Keruly JC, et al. Incidence of neuropathy in HIV-infected patients on monotherapy versus those on combination therapy with didanosine, stavudine and hydroxyurea. AIDS. 2000;14(3):273-278.
- Robbins GK, De Gruttola V, Shafer RW, et al. Comparison of sequential three-drug regimens as initial therapy for HIV-1 infection. N Engl J Med. 2003;349(24):2293-2303.
- Boubaker K, Flepp M, Sudre P, et al. Hyperlactatemia and antiretroviral therapy: the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. Clin Infect Dis. 2001;33(11):1931-1937.
- Coghlan ME, Sommadossi JP, Jhala NC, et al. Symptomatic lactic acidosis in hospitalized antiretroviral-treated patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection: a report of 12 cases. Clin Infect Dis. 2001;33(11):1914-1921.
- FDA FaDA. Caution issued for HIV combination therapy with Zerit and Videx in pregnant women. HIV Clin. 2001;13(2):6.
- Kearney BP, Sayre JR, Flaherty JF, et al. Drug-drug and drug-food interactions between tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and didanosine. J Clin Pharmacol. 2005;45(12):1360-1367.
- Murphy MD, O'Hearn M, Chou S. Fatal lactic acidosis and acute renal failure after addition of tenofovir to an antiretroviral regimen containing didanosine. Clin Infect Dis. 2003;36(8):1082-1085.
- Martinez E, Milinkovic A, de Lazzari E, et al. Pancreatic toxic effects associated with co-administration of didanosine and tenofovir in HIV-infected adults. Lancet. 2004;364(9428):65-67.
- Barrios A, Rendon A, Negredo E, et al. Paradoxical CD4+ T-cell decline in HIV-infected patients with complete virus suppression taking tenofovir and didanosine. AIDS. 2005;19(6):569-575.
- Negredo E, Bonjoch A, Paredes R, et al. Compromised immunologic recovery in treatment-experienced patients with HIV infection receiving both tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and didanosine in the TORO studies. Clin Infect Dis. 2005;41(6):901-905.
- Leon A, Martinez E, Mallolas J, et al. Early virological failure in treatment-naive HIV-infected adults receiving didanosine and tenofovir plus efavirenz or nevirapine. AIDS. 2005;19(2):213-215.
- Maitland D, Moyle G, Hand J, et al. Early virologic failure in HIV-1 infected subjects on didanosine/tenofovir/efavirenz: 12-week results from a randomized trial. AIDS. 2005;19(11):1183-1188.
- Podzamczer D, Ferrer E, Gatell JM, et al. Early virological failure with a combination of tenofovir, didanosine and efavirenz. Antivir Ther. 2005;10(1):171-177.
- van Leth F, Phanuphak P, Ruxrungtham K, et al. Comparison of first-line antiretroviral therapy with regimens including nevirapine, efavirenz, or both drugs, plus stavudine and lamivudine: a randomised open-label trial, the 2NN Study. Lancet. 2004;363(9417):1253-1263.
- Tibotec, Inc. Intelence (package insert) 2009.
- Fundaro C, Genovese O, Rendeli C, et al. Myelomeningocele in a child with intrauterine exposure to efavirenz. AIDS. 2002;16(2):299-300.
- Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry Steering Committee. Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry international interim report for 1 Jan 1989 - 31 January 2007. 2007; http://www.APRegistry.com.
- Bethell R, Adams J, DeMuys J, et al. Pharmacological evaluation of a dual deoxycytidine analogue combination: 3TC and SPD754. Paper presented at: 11th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections; February 8-11, 2004; San Francisco, California. Abstract 138.
- Baylor MS, Johann-Liang R. Hepatotoxicity associated with nevirapine use. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004;35(5):538-539.
- Sanne I, Mommeja-Marin H, Hinkle J, et al. Severe hepatotoxicity associated with nevirapine use in HIV-infected subjects. J Infect Dis. 2005;191(6):825-829.
- Boehringer Ingelheim. Dear Health Care Professional Letter. Clarification of risk factors for severe, life-threatening and fatal hepatotoxicity with VIRAMUNE® (nevirapine) 2004.
- Kesselring AM, Wit FW, Sabin CA, et al. Risk factors for treatment-limiting toxicities in patients starting nevirapine-containing antiretroviral therapy. AIDS. 2009;23(13):1689-1699.
- Hoggard PG, Kewn S, Barry MG, et al. Effects of drugs on 2',3'-dideoxy-2',3'-didehydrothymidine phosphorylation in vitro. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1997;41(6):1231-1236.
- Havlir DV, Tierney C, Friedland GH, et al. In vivo antagonism with zidovudine plus stavudine combination therapy. J Infect Dis. 2000;182(1):321-325.