Usefulness of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring of Antiretrovirals in Routine Clinical Practice

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Clinical trials have shown that therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of antiretrovirals (ARV) improves patient care. However, little is known about the usefulness of TDM in routine practice.


We reviewed all the trough concentrations of protease inhibitors and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors that were performed for therapeutic failure, suspected drug toxicity, or routine purposes.


Between 1998 and 2001, 146 TDMs were done in 109 HIV patients. Of the 48 patients with therapeutic failure, 62% had resistance to ARV with adequate ARV concentrations, 16% had insufficient drug exposure without any ARV resistance mutations, and 16% combined both resistance and suboptimal drug concentrations. Subsequent therapeutic interventions (increasing adherence and/or changing HAART) resulted in an undetectable viral load in 37.5% of the patients (14/48). Five (24%) of 21 patients with suspected drug toxicity had high drug concentrations associated with side effects. In all the cases, adverse events regressed after reduction of drug dosage. Of the 77 TDMs done for routine purposes, 26% were outside the therapeutic range.


The data show that TDM of ARVs in the clinical setting provides important information that can be used to improve the management of HIV patients receiving antiretroviral therapy.

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