Optimizing Pediatric Dosing Recommendations and Treatment Management of Antiretroviral Drugs Using Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Data in Children Living With HIV

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Introduction:This review summarizes the current dosing recommendations for antiretroviral (ARV) drugs in the international pediatric guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and Pediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS (PENTA), and evaluates the research that informed these approaches. We further explore the role of data generated through therapeutic drug monitoring in optimizing the dosing of ARVs in children.Methods:A PubMed search was conducted for the literature on ARV dosing published in English. In addition, the registration documentation of European Medicines Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration for currently used ARVs and studies referenced by the WHO, DHHS, and EMA guidelines were screened. Resulting publications were screened for papers containing data on the area under the concentration–time curve, trough concentration, and peak concentration. Studies with enrolled participants with a median or mean age of ≥18 years were excluded. No restriction on publishing date was applied.Discussion and conclusion:Pediatric ARV dosing is frequently based on data obtained from small studies and is often simplified to facilitate dosing in the context of a public health approach. Pharmacokinetic parameters of pediatric ARVs are subject to high interpatient variation and this leads to a potential risk of underdosing or overdosing when drugs are used in real life. To ensure optimal use of ARVs and validate dosing recommendations for children, it is essential to monitor ARV dosing more thoroughly with larger sample sizes and to include diverse subpopulations. Therapeutic drug monitoring data generated in children, where available and affordable, have the potential to enhance our understanding of the appropriateness of simplified pediatric dosing strategies recommended using a public health approach and to uncover suboptimal dosing or other unanticipated issues postmarketing, further facilitating the ultimate goal of optimizing pediatric ARV treatment.

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