Drug–drug interactions between antiretrovirals and drugs used in the management of neglected tropical diseases: important considerations in the WHO 2020 Roadmap and London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases

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The group of infections known as the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) collectively affect one billion people worldwide, equivalent to one-sixth of the world's population. The NTDs cause severe physical and emotional morbidity, and have a profound effect on cycles of poverty; it is estimated that NTDs account for 534 000 deaths per year. NTDs such as soil-transmitted helminth infections and the vector-borne protozoal infections leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis occur predominantly in the most economically disadvantaged and marginalized communities. It is estimated that all low-income countries harbour at least five of the NTDs simultaneously. NTDs are neglected because they do not individually rank highly in terms of mortality data, and because they affect populations with little political voice. There is considerable geographic overlap between areas with high prevalence of NTDs and HIV, raising the possibility of complex polypharmacy and drug–drug interactions. Antiretrovirals pose a particularly high risk for potential drug–drug interactions, which may be pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic in nature and can result in raising or lowering plasma or tissue concentrations of co-prescribed drugs. Elevated drug concentrations may be associated with drug toxicity and lower drug concentrations may be associated with therapeutic failure. The aim of this paper is to review the currently available data on interactions between antiretrovirals and drugs used in the management of NTDs. It is intended to serve as a resource for policy makers and clinicians caring for these patients, and to support the recent WHO 2020 Roadmap and the 2012 London Declaration on NTDs.

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