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J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2005 Sep-Oct;16(5):35-48.

Neurologic and psychiatric complications of antiretroviral agents.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA.


Advances in highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) aim to improve the efficacy of HIV drugs as well as the quality of life in HIV-infected patients. Neurologic and psychologic disturbances that occur because of HIV disease and therapy are of great concern, and because they can overlap and are often difficult to distinguish, their pathogenesis is not clearly understood. Furthermore, these complications can lead to decreased adherence, thereby interfering with treatment outcomes. Antiretrovirals, including nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, can penetrate the central nervous system (CNS) and suppress viral replication, but they can also exacerbate CNS side effects and neuropsychiatric symptoms. When deciding which HAART drug combination is most appropriate for a patient, clinicians must consider the individual's risk of CNS complications together with the efficacy of the specific HAART regimen.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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