Sustained Viral Suppression in HIV-infected Children on Once-daily Lopinavir/Ritonavir in Clinical Practice

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Background:The use of lopinavir/ritonavir once-daily (LPV/r QD) has not been approved for children. Good short-term clinical, virologic and immunologic outcomes have been observed in children on LPV/r QD.Methods:We evaluated the long-term effectiveness of a LPV/r QD containing regimen in HIV-1–infected children in clinical practice. Selected children (0–18 years of age) with an undetectable HIV-1 RNA viral load (<50 copies/mL) for at least 6 months on a twice-daily LPV/r-containing regimen switched to LPV/r QD. The main outcome measures were the percentage of patients with an undetectable HIV-1 viral load each subsequent year after switch to LPV/r QD (on treatment and last observation carried forward), and virologic failure during follow-up (>400 copies/mL twice within 6 months). Also, the exposure to LPV on the initial once-daily dosing regimen was determined.Results:Forty children (median age: 6.5 years; range: 1.0–17) were included. Median follow-up was 6.3 years (range: 1.0–10.3). During yearly follow-up, the percentage of children with an undetectable viral load varied between 82% and 100% (on treatment) and 83% and 93% (last observation carried forward). Five children (12.5%) met the criteria for failure. CD4+ and CD8+ counts remained stable at normal values. Geometric mean LPV area under the plasma concentration-time curve (linear up-log down method) over a dosing interval from time 0 to 24 hours after dosing was 169.3 mg x h/L, and last observed drug concentration was 1.35 mg/L. Adverse events were encountered in 8 patients, were mainly gastrointestinal, and in these cases, no reason to stop treatment.Conclusion:A once-daily LPV/r-containing regimen in HIV-1–infected children with intensive clinical and therapeutic drug monitoring is well tolerated and has good long-term clinical, virologic and immunologic outcomes.

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