Effects of Hormonal Contraception on Antiretroviral Drug Metabolism, Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

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Among women, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is most prevalent in those of reproductive age. These women are also at risk of unintended or mistimed pregnancies. Hormonal contraceptives (HCs) are one of the most commonly used methods of family planning worldwide. Therefore, concurrent use of HC among women on antiretroviral medications (ARVs) is increasingly common. ARVs are being investigated and have been approved for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and therefore, drug–drug interactions must also be considered in HIV-1-negative women who want to prevent both unintended pregnancy and HIV-1 infection. This article will review four main interactions: (i) the effect of HCs on ARV pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) during therapy, (ii) the effect of ARVs on HC PK and PD, (iii) the role of drug transporters on drug–drug interactions, and (iv) ongoing research into the effect of HCs on pre-exposure prophylaxis PK and PD.

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