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JAMA. 1998 Jul 1;280(1):35-41.

Simultaneous vs sequential initiation of therapy with indinavir, zidovudine, and lamivudine for HIV-1 infection: 100-week follow-up.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, USA.



Combination antiretroviral therapy can markedly suppress human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication but the duration of HIV suppression varies among patients.


To compare the antiretroviral effect of a 3-drug regimen started simultaneously or sequentially in patients with HIV infection.


A multicenter, randomized, double-blind study, modified after at least 24 weeks of blinded therapy to provide open-label 3-drug therapy with follow-up through 100 weeks.


Four clinical research units


Ninety-seven patients with HIV infection who had taken zidovudine for at least 6 months with serum HIV RNA level of at least 20000 copies/mL and CD4 cell count of 0.05 to 0.40 x 10(9)/L.


Patients were initially randomized to receive 1 of 3 antiretroviral regimens: indinavir, 800 mg every 8 hours; zidovudine, 200 mg every 8 hours and lamivudine, 150 mg every 12 hours; or all 3 drugs. After at least 24 weeks of blinded therapy, all patients received open-label 3-drug therapy.


Antiretroviral activity was assessed by changes in HIV RNA level and CD4 cell count from baseline. Data through 100 weeks were summarized.


Simultaneous initiation of indinavir, zidovudine, and lamivudine suppressed HIV RNA in 78% (25/32) of contributing patients to less than 500 copies/mL and increased CD4 cell count to a median of 0.209 x 10(9)/L above baseline at 100 weeks. When these 3 drugs were initiated sequentially, only 30% to 45% of contributing patients (10 of 33 in the zidovudine-lamivudine group and 13 of 29 in the indinavir group, respectively) had a sustained reduction in HIV RNA to less than 500 copies/mL, and median CD4 cell count increased to 0.101 to 0.163 x 10(9)/L above baseline at 100 weeks.


A 3-drug combination of indinavir, zidovudine, and lamivudine started simultaneously has durable antiretroviral activity for at least 2 years. Sequential initiation of the same 3 drugs is much less effective.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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