Cariogenic potential of medications used in treatment of children with HIV infection

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In children infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) commences at a very young age. These drugs are administered over a prolonged period and could be a possible risk factor for dental caries in these children.


To assess endogenous pH, titratable acidity and type and concentration of sugars present in drugs used in treatment of HIV-infected children.

Study design:

Eleven drugs that are regularly prescribed to treat HIV infection in children (antiretrovirals, antibacterial, antifungal) were selected. The endogenous pH and titratable acidity of each drug was assessed. Type and concentration of sugars present in these medications was estimated using thin layer chromatography.


Medications were mostly in syrup form and their pH ranged from 2.27 to 7.98. Titratable acidity varied between 0.01 to 0.37 mmol. Sucrose was present in all medications, and more than 60 g% of sucrose was present in anti-acterial and antifungal preparations.


The physical properties and sugar content of medications used in ART pose a risk to dental health of children.

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