Serum nevirapine and efavirenz concentrations and effect of concomitant rifampicin in HIV infected children on antiretroviral therapy

Ira Shah, Soumya Swaminathan, Geetha Ramachandran, A. K. Hemanth Kumar, Apurva Goray, Udit Chaddha, Swati Tayal, Mamatha Lala

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8 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine factors affecting serum levels of Efavirenz and Nevirapine and analyze the effect of Rifampicin on Nevirapine drug levels. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 30 HIV infected children on Antiretroviral therapy (ART) with Nevirapine or Efavirenz. Patients on simultaneous Rifampicin and Nevirapine were given higher doses of Nevirapine with regular monitoring of liver function tests. Trough levels (before morning dose of Nevirapine) and levels after 2 hours of administration of Nevirapine and levels of Efavirenz were assessed using HPLC and were checked to see if they fall within the therapeutic range. Results: Thirty patients (14 males) were enrolled in the study with 20 on Nevirapine and 10 (33.3%) on Efavirenz. Seven (23.3%) patients were simultaneously taking rifampicin. The mean Nevirapine dose given to the patients was 350.9±59.8mg/m 2/day (on simultaneous rifampicin) and 309.2±54.6mg/m 2/day (not on concurrent rifampicin). Thirteen (81.3%) of the 16 patients with trough Nevirapine had values in the normal range, 1 (6.3%) had low Nevirapine trough levels and 2 (12.5%) had high Nevirapine trough levels. Of the post 2 hours Nevirapine levels, 1 (5%) had low levels and 3 (15%) had high Nevirapine blood levels. Factors like age (P=0.4, P=0.4087), nourishment (P=0.2679, P=0.4132), ART combination (P=0.4199, P=0.4132), form of the drug (tablet/syrup) (P=0.1964, P=0.4696) or if it was being given as single or in a fixed dose combination (P=0.4179, P=0.4696) and even concurrent rifampicin administration (P=0.284, P=0.472) did not significantly affect the trough and post 2 hours Nevirapine values, respectively. All the five patients being given concurrent rifampicin had normal trough and post 2 hours levels of Nevirapine. The Efavirenz drug levels were 1.9±1.1 g/mL. Of the 10 patients on Efavirenz, 2 (20%) had high and 1 (10%) had low blood levels. Conclusion: Concurrent Rifampicin administration does not alter blood levels of Nevirapine; provided the dose of Nevirapine is increased by 20-30%. Formulation of drugs does not alter the blood levels provided drug administered is in the recommended dose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-947
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Pediatrics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-retroviral
  • Drug levels
  • Efavirenz
  • Nevirapine
  • Rifampicin therapy


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