Please send your comments with the subject line “Comments on Perinatal Guidelines” to ContactUs@aidsinfo.nih.gov by August 20, 2015.
Type your search term(s) in the text box. Users can only search one guideline at a time. To search for an exact phrase, use quotation marks (i.e. "what to start"). To narrow your search, add additional relevant terms. If you are not finding what you need, try searching similar terms (i.e. perinatal OR pregnancy) to broaden your search.
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
Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Nevirapine (Viramune, NVP)
(Last updated: August 6, 2015; last reviewed: August 6, 2015)
Nelfinavir is classified as Food and Drug Administration Pregnancy Category B.
Nelfinavir was neither mutagenic nor clastogenic in a series of in vitro and animal in vivo screening tests. However, incidence of thyroid follicular cell adenomas and carcinomas was increased over baseline in male rats receiving nelfinavir dosages of 300 mg/kg/day or higher (equal to a systemic exposure similar to that in humans at therapeutic doses) and female rats receiving 1000 mg/kg/day (equal to a systemic exposure 3-fold higher than that in humans at therapeutic doses).
No effect of nelfinavir has been seen on reproductive performance, fertility, or embryo survival in rats at exposures comparable to human therapeutic exposure. Additional studies in rats indicated that exposure to nelfinavir in females from mid-pregnancy through lactation had no effect on the survival, growth, and development of the offspring to weaning. Maternal exposure to nelfinavir also did not affect subsequent reproductive performance of the offspring.
No evidence of teratogenicity has been observed in pregnant rats at exposures comparable to human exposure and in rabbits with exposures significantly less than human exposure.
Human Studies in Pregnancy
A Phase I/II safety and pharmacokinetic (PK) study (PACTG 353) of nelfinavir in combination with zidovudine and lamivudine was conducted in pregnant HIV-infected women and their infants.1 In the first 9 pregnant HIV-infected women enrolled in the study, nelfinavir administered at a dose of 750 mg three times daily produced drug exposures that were variable and generally lower than those reported in non-pregnant adults with both twice- and three-times-daily dosing. Therefore, the study was modified to evaluate an increased dose of nelfinavir given twice daily (1250 mg twice daily), which resulted in adequate levels of the drug in pregnancy. However, in two other small studies of women given 1250 mg nelfinavir twice daily in the second and third trimesters, drug concentrations in the second and third trimesters were somewhat lower than in non-pregnant women.2,3
In a PK study of combination therapy including the new nelfinavir 625-mg tablet formulation (given as 1250 mg twice daily) in 25 women at 30 to 36 weeks’ gestation (and 12 at 6–12 weeks postpartum), peak levels and area under the curve were lower in the third trimester than postpartum.4 Only 16% (4 of 25) of women during the third trimester and 8% (1/12) of women postpartum had trough values greater than the suggested minimum trough of 800 ng/mL; however, viral load was <400 copies/mL in 96% of women in the third trimester and 86% postpartum.
Placental and Breast Milk Passage
In a Phase I study in pregnant women and their infants (PACTG 353), transplacental passage of nelfinavir was minimal.1 In addition, in a study of cord blood samples from 38 women treated with nelfinavir during pregnancy, the cord blood nelfinavir concentration was less than the assay limit of detection in 24 (63%), and the cord blood concentration was low (median, 0.35 µg/mL) in the remaining 14 women.5 Among 20 mother-infant pairs in the Netherlands, the cord blood-to-maternal-plasma ratio for nelfinavir was 0.14 compared to 0.67 for nevirapine and 0.24 for lopinavir.6
Nelfinavir also has low breast milk passage. In a PK study conducted in Kisumu, Kenya, concentrations of nelfinavir and its active metabolite, M8, were measured in maternal plasma and breast milk from 26 mothers receiving nelfinavir as part of combination antiretroviral therapy and from their 27 infants at birth, 2, 6, 14, and 24 weeks.7 Peak nelfinavir concentrations were recorded in maternal plasma and breast milk at Week 2. Median breast milk-to-plasma ratio was 0.12 for nelfinavir and 0.03 for its active metabolite (i.e., M8). Nelfinavir and M8 concentrations were below the limit of detection in 20/28 (71%) of infant plasma dried blood spots tested from nine infants over time points from delivery though Week 24. Overall transfer to breast milk was low and resulted in non-significant exposure to nelfinavir among breastfed infants through age 24 weeks.
Teratogenicity/Developmental Toxicity In the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry, sufficient numbers of first-trimester exposures to nelfinavir have been monitored to be able to detect at least a 1.5-fold increased risk of overall birth defects and a 2-fold increased risk of birth defects in the more common classes of birth defects—the cardiovascular and genitourinary systems. No such increase in birth defects has been observed with nelfinavir. Among cases of first-trimester nelfinavir exposure reported to the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry, prevalence of birth defects was 3.9% (47 of 1,214 births; 95% CI, 2.8% to 5.1%) compared with a 2.7% total prevalence in the U.S. population, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveillance.8
Capparelli EV, Aweeka F, Hitti J, et al. Chronic administration of nevirapine during pregnancy: impact of pregnancy on pharmacokinetics. HIV Med. 2008;9(4):214-220. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18366444.
von Hentig N, Carlebach A, Gute P, et al. A comparison of the steady-state pharmacokinetics of nevirapine in men, nonpregnant women and women in late pregnancy. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2006;62(5):552-559. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17061962.
Nellen JF, Damming M, Godfried MH, et al. Steady-state nevirapine plasma concentrations are influenced by pregnancy. HIV Med. 2008;9(4):234-238. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18366447.
Else LJ, Taylor S, Back DJ, Khoo SH. Pharmacokinetics of antiretroviral drugs in anatomical sanctuary sites: the fetal compartment (placenta and amniotic fluid). Antivir Ther. 2011;16(8):1139-1147. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22155898.
Benaboud S, Ekouevi DK, Urien S, et al. Population pharmacokinetics of nevirapine in HIV-1-infected pregnant women and their neonates. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011;55(1):331-337. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20956588.
Palombi L, Pirillo MF, Andreotti M, et al. Antiretroviral prophylaxis for breastfeeding transmission in Malawi: drug concentrations, virological efficacy and safety. Antivir Ther. 2012;17(8):1511-1519. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22910456.
Shapiro RL, Rossi S, Ogwu A, et al. Therapeutic levels of lopinavir in late pregnancy and abacavir passage into breast milk in the Mma Bana Study, Botswana. Antivir Ther. 2013;18(4):585-590. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23183881.
Mirochnick M, Thomas T, Capparelli E, et al. Antiretroviral concentrations in breast-feeding infants of mothers receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2009;53(3):1170-1176. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19114673.
Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry Steering Committee. Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry international interim report for 1 Jan 1989–31 July 2014. Wilmington, NC: Registry Coordinating Center. 2014. Available at http://www.APRegistry.com.
Sibiude J, Mandelbrot L, Blanche S, et al. Association between prenatal exposure to antiretroviral therapy and birth defects: an analysis of the French perinatal cohort study (ANRS CO1/CO11). PLoS Med. 2014;11(4):e1001635. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24781315.
Patel SM, Johnson S, Belknap SM, Chan J, Sha BE, Bennett C. Serious adverse cutaneous and hepatic toxicities associated with nevirapine use by non-HIV-infected individuals. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004;35(2):120-125. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14722442.
Viramune [package insert]. Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. 2012. Available at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/201152s004mg.pdf. Accessed April 21, 2015.
Stern JO, Robinson PA, Love J, Lanes S, Imperiale MS, Mayers DL. A comprehensive hepatic safety analysis of nevirapine in different populations of HIV infected patients. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2003;34 Suppl 1:S21-33. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14562855.
Mazhude C, Jones S, Murad S, Taylor C, Easterbrook P. Female sex but not ethnicity is a strong predictor of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-induced rash. AIDS. 2002;16(11):1566-1568. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12131201.
Bersoff-Matcha SJ, Miller WC, Aberg JA, et al. Sex differences in nevirapine rash. Clin Infect Dis. 2001;32(1):124-129. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11118391.
Knudtson E, Para M, Boswell H, Fan-Havard P. Drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms syndrome and renal toxicity with a nevirapine-containing regimen in a pregnant patient with human immunodeficiency virus. Obstet Gynecol. 2003;101(5 Pt 2):1094-1097. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12738113.
Peters PJ, Stringer J, McConnell MS, et al. Nevirapine-associated hepatotoxicity was not predicted by CD4 count >/=250 cells/muL among women in Zambia, Thailand and Kenya. HIV Med. 2010;11(10):650-660. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20659176.
Dong BJ, Zheng Y, Hughes MD, et al. Nevirapine pharmacokinetics and risk of rash and hepatitis among HIV-infected sub-Saharan African women. AIDS. 2012;26(7):833-841. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22301417.
Yuan J, Guo S, Hall D, et al. Toxicogenomics of nevirapine-associated cutaneous and hepatic adverse events among populations of African, Asian, and European descent. AIDS. 2011;25(10):1271-1280. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21505298.
Carr DF, Chaponda M, Jorgensen AL, et al. Association of Human Leukocyte Antigen Alleles and Nevirapine Hypersensitivity in a Malawian HIV-Infected Population. Clin Infect Dis. 2013;56(9):1330-1339. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23362284.
Lyons F, Hopkins S, Kelleher B, et al. Maternal hepatotoxicity with nevirapine as part of combination antiretroviral therapy in pregnancy. HIV Med. 2006;7(4):255-260. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16630038.
Ford N, Calmy A, Andrieux-Meyer I, Hargreaves S, Mills EJ, Shubber Z. Adverse events associated with nevirapine use in pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. AIDS. 2013. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23299174.
Ouyang DW, Brogly SB, Lu M, et al. Lack of increased hepatotoxicity in HIV-infected pregnant women receiving nevirapine compared with other antiretrovirals. AIDS. 2010;24(1):109-114. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19926957.
Ouyang DW, Shapiro DE, Lu M, et al. Increased risk of hepatotoxicity in HIV-infected pregnant women receiving antiretroviral therapy independent of nevirapine exposure. AIDS. 2009;23(18):2425-2430. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19617813.
Bera E, Mia R. Safety of nevirapine in HIV-infected pregnant women initiating antiretroviral therapy at higher CD4 counts: a systematic review and meta-analysis. S Afr Med J. 2012;102(11 Pt 1):855-859. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23116743.
Dube N, Adewusi E, Summers R. Risk of nevirapine-associated Stevens-Johnson syndrome among HIV-infected pregnant women: the Medunsa National Pharmacovigilance Centre, 2007–2012. S Afr Med J. 2013;103(5):322-325. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23971123.
Kontorinis N, Dieterich DT. Toxicity of non-nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Semin Liver Dis. 2003;23(2):173-182. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12800070.