Pharmacogenetics of efavirenz discontinuation for reported central nervous system symptoms appears to differ by race

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Abstract

Background

Efavirenz frequently causes central nervous system (CNS) symptoms. We evaluated genetic associations with efavirenz discontinuation for CNS symptoms within 12 months of treatment initiation.

Methods

Patients had initiated efavirenz-containing regimens at an HIV primary care clinic in the Southeastern United States and had at least 12 months of follow-up data. Polymorphisms in CYP2B6 and CYP2A6 defined efavirenz metabolizer categories. Genome-wide genotyping enabled adjustment for population stratification.

Results

Among 563 evaluable patients, 99 (17.5%) discontinued efavirenz within 12 months, 29 (5.1%) for CNS symptoms. The hazard ratio (HR) for efavirenz discontinuation for CNS symptoms in slow versus extensive metabolizers was 4.9 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.9–12.4; P=0.001]. This HR in Whites was 6.5 (95% CI: 2.3–18.8; P=0.001) and 2.6 in Blacks (95% CI: 0.5–14.1; P=0.27). Considering only slow metabolizers, the HR in Whites versus Blacks was 3.1 (95% CI: 0.9–11.0; P=0.081). The positive predictive value of slow metabolizer genotypes for efavirenz discontinuation was 27% in Whites and 11% in Blacks.

Conclusion

Slow metabolizer genotypes were associated significantly with efavirenz discontinuation for reported CNS symptoms. This association was considerably stronger in Whites than in Blacks.

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