Send to

Choose Destination
N Engl J Med. 2001 Aug 9;345(6):398-407.

Nelfinavir, efavirenz, or both after the failure of nucleoside treatment of HIV infection.

Author information

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.



The optimal antiretroviral treatment for patients who have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viremia despite treatment with nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (nucleoside analogues) remains uncertain. We studied treatment with regimens that combined two nucleoside analogues, at least one of which was new, with the protease inhibitor nelfinavir, the nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor efavirenz, or both.


The study included 195 patients who had been treated with nucleoside analogues only, and had a plasma HIV type 1 (HIV-1) RNA level of at least 500 copies per milliliter. Patients were randomly assigned to receive, in addition to two nucleoside analogues, nelfinavir, efavirenz, or nelfinavir plus efavirenz. The primary end point was a plasma HIV-1 RNA level of less than 500 copies per milliliter at week 16. A secondary end point was the composite of the HIV-1 RNA levels measured at weeks 40 and 48.


At week 16 and at weeks 40 and 48, the proportions of patients in whom a plasma HIV-1 RNA level of less than 500 copies per milliliter was achieved were, respectively, 81 percent and 74 percent in the nelfinavir-plus-efavirenz group, 69 percent and 60 percent in the efavirenz group, and 64 percent and 35 percent in the nelfinavir group. Quadruple therapy resulted in a higher rate of viral suppression in both the short term (P=0.03) and the long term (P=0.001) than did triple therapy with nelfinavir. Triple therapy with efavirenz conferred a higher rate of long-term suppression than triple therapy with nelfinavir (P=0.004). Quadruple therapy also achieved a higher rate of virologic suppression than triple therapy with efavirenz (P=0.008).


In HIV-infected patients previously treated with nucleoside analogues, treatment with nelfinavir plus efavirenz and at least one new nucleoside analogue achieves a higher rate of viral suppression than do regimens with nucleoside analogues and nelfinavir or efavirenz alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center