Washington, Feb 26 (ANI): Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have suggested that women given the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention drug nevirapine to protect their foetus should not use an HIV-drug regimen that contains nevirapine for at least one year after childbirth.
A new study found that while nevirapine works well to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, a single dose of nevirapine in infected pregnant women could trigger resistance to some forms of the AIDS-drug cocktail known as combination antiretroviral treatment (ART).
UAB Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Jeffrey S.A. Stringer, the study's lead author, said that this nevirapine-induced resistance fades after about 12 months and no longer hinders ART.
"This study shows that women who need treatment more than 12 months after using nevirapine to prevent mother-to-child transmission safely can use standard first-line treatments in their countries," Stringer said.
"Women who need treatment sooner than that should use a combination that does not contain nevirapine, typically an ART regimen that contains protease-inhibitor drugs," Stringer added.
The study included 878 infected women in Zambia, Cote d'Ivoire and Thailand. Some were given single-dose nevirapine and others were not; all participants were given ART immediately upon confirmed infection and monitored for one year.
Stringer said that nevirapine continues to be the backbone of anti-HIV therapy in the developing world, and its usefulness in preventing mother-to-child transmission is confirmed in the new study.
The findings are published in PLoS Medicine, a journal of the nonprofit Public Library of Science. (ANI)