Hypokalemia in HIV patients on tenofovir

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Although adverse events in HIV patients taking tenofovir are relatively rare, postmarketing reports of nephrotoxicity have alerted physicians to other potentially serious outcomes. We present a series of 40 patients who developed hypokalemia associated with tenofovir. Identified risk factors included concomitant ritonavir or didanosine use, a lower weight and longer duration of tenofovir use. Recovery or improvement was seen in the majority of patients (66%) after the discontinuation of tenofovir; however, four deaths occurred. The associated consequences of tenofovir-related hypokalemia may be profound and life-threatening.

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