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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2008 Sep;52(9):3276-83. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00224-08. Epub 2008 Jul 14.

Pharmacokinetics of high-dose lopinavir-ritonavir with and without saquinavir or nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors in human immunodeficiency virus-infected pediatric and adolescent patients previously treated with protease inhibitors.

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  • 1St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children and adolescents who are failing antiretrovirals may have a better virologic response when drug exposures are increased, using higher protease inhibitor doses or ritonavir boosting. We studied the pharmacokinetics and safety of high-dose lopinavir-ritonavir (LPV/r) in treatment-experienced patients, using an LPV/r dose of 400/100 mg/m(2) orally every 12 h (p.o. q12h) (without nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor [NNRTI]), or 480/120 mg/m(2) p.o. q12h (with NNRTI). We calculated the LPV inhibitory quotient (IQ), and when the IQ was <15, saquinavir (SQV) 750 mg/m(2) p.o. q12h was added to the regimen. We studied 26 HIV-infected patients. The median age was 15 years (range, 7 to 17), with 11.5 prior antiretroviral medications, 197 CD4 cells/ml, viral load of 75,577 copies/ml, and a 133-fold change in LPV resistance. By treatment week 2, 14 patients had a viral-load decrease of >0.75 log(10), with a median maximal decrease in viral load of -1.57 log(10) copies/ml at week 8. At week 2, 19 subjects showed a median LPV area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) of 157.2 (range, 62.8 to 305.5) microg x h/ml and median LPV trough concentration (C(trough)) of 10.8 (range, 4.1 to 25.3) microg/ml. In 16 subjects with SQV added, the SQV median AUC was 33.7 (range, 4.4 to 76.5) microg x h/ml and the median SQV C(trough) was 2.1 (range, 0.2 to 4.1) microg/ml. At week 24, 18 of 26 (69%) subjects remained in the study. Between weeks 24 and 48, one subject withdrew for nonadherence and nine withdrew for persistently high virus load. In antiretroviral-experienced children and adolescents with HIV, high doses of LPV/r with or without SQV offer safe options for salvage therapy, but the modest virologic response and the challenge of adherence to a regimen with a high pill burden may limit the usefulness of this approach.

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