Intrapartum Single-Dose Carbamazepine Reduces Nevirapine Levels Faster and May Decrease Resistance After a Single Dose of Nevirapine for Perinatal HIV Prevention

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Abstract

Background:

World Health Organization guidelines recommend zidovudine + lamivudine for 7 days from labor onset in HIV-infected women receiving single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) to cover prolonged subtherapeutic nevirapine concentrations. Although effective, this is complicated and does not eliminate resistance; alternative strategies could add benefit.

Methods:

Antiretroviral-naive HIV-infected pregnant women aged 18–40 years, with CD4 >200 cells per cubic millimeter, able to regularly attend the antenatal clinics in Moshi, Tanzania, were enrolled 1:1 by alternate allocation to receive 200 mg sdNVP alone or in combination with open-label 400-mg single-dose carbamazepine (sdNVP/CBZ) at delivery (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00294892). The coprimary outcomes were nevirapine plasma concentrations 1 week and nevirapine resistance mutations 6 weeks postpartum. Analyses were based on those still eligible at delivery.

Results:

Ninety-seven women were assigned to sdNVP and 95 to sdNVP/CBZ during pregnancy, of whom 75 sdNVP and 83 sdNVP/CBZ were still eligible at delivery at study sites. The median (interquartile range) nevirapine plasma concentration was 1.55 (0.88–1.84) mg/L in sdNVP (n = 61) and 1.40 (0.93–1.97) mg/L in sdNVP/CBZ (n = 72) at delivery (P = 0.91), but 1 week later was significantly lower in sdNVP/CBZ [n = 63; 0.09 (0.05–0.20) mg/L] than in sdNVP [n = 52; 0.20 (0.09–0.31) mg/L; rank-sum: P = 0.004] (geometric mean ratio: 0.64, 95% confidence interval: 0.43 to 0.96; P = 0.03). Six weeks postpartum, nevirapine mutations were observed in 11 of 52 (21%) in sdNVP and 6 of 55 (11%) in sdNVP/CBZ (odds ratio = 0.46, 95% confidence interval: 0.16 to 1.34; P = 0.15).

Conclusions:

Addition of single-dose carbamazepine to sdNVP at labor onset in HIV-infected, pregnant women did not affect nevirapine plasma concentration at delivery, but significantly reduced it 1 week postpartum, with a trend toward fewer nevirapine resistance mutations.

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