Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection (Oct 2021)

Therapeutic drug monitoring study on the switch from coformulated 600-mg efavirenz, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, and emtricitabine to coformulated 400-mg efavirenz, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, and lamivudine among HIV-positive patients with viral suppression

  • Wei-Chieh Huang,
  • Chun-Kai Huang,
  • Sung-Hsi Huang,
  • Shu-Wen Lin,
  • Shyh-Tyan Ou,
  • Yi-Ting Chen,
  • Ya-Wen Chen,
  • Shu-Yuan Chang,
  • Wen-Chun Liu,
  • Hsin-Yun Sun,
  • Chien-Ching Hung

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 54, no. 5
pp. 944 – 951


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Objectives: This study evaluated the efavirenz (EFV) mid-dose plasma concentration (C12), clinical efficacy, and safety after the switch to a single-tablet regimen containing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), lamivudine (3TC), and 400-mg EFV in virally suppressed HIV-positive Taiwanese who were receiving co-formulated TDF, emtricitabine (FTC), and 600-mg EFV. Methods: In this single-arm, open-label study, HIV-positive adults who had undetectable plasma HIV RNA load (<50 copies/ml) for 6 months or longer while receiving co-formulated TDF, FTC, and 600-mg EFV with EFV C12 of ≥1 mg/L were enrolled. The participants were switched to co-formulated TDF, 3TC, and 400-mg EFV and followed for 24 weeks. The primary endpoint was the proportion of participants with EFV C12 ≥ 1 mg/L at Week 4. The secondary endpoints included virologic response and change of CD4 lymphocyte count up to Week 24. Specific adverse effects associated with EFV were recorded before and after the switch. Results: From December 2018 to January 2019, 50 participants were enrolled. EFV C12 remained ≥1 mg/L in 48 (96.0%) participants with a median reduction of 38.9% (interquartile range 29.0–44.4) at Week 4 after switch. All participants had undetectable plasma HIV RNA by Week 12, whereas 96.0% of them remained so at Week 24. Significant increases of CD4 lymphocyte count were observed at Weeks 12 and 24. Thirty-three participants (66.0%) reported improvement of pre-existing adverse effects. Conclusion: Switch to coformulated TDF, 3TC, and 400-mg EFV in virally suppressed HIV-positive Taiwanese maintained effective EFV concentration and viral suppression while the adverse effects were reduced.