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J Infect Dis. 2005 Mar 15;191(6):825-9. Epub 2005 Feb 10.

Severe hepatotoxicity associated with nevirapine use in HIV-infected subjects.

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Clinical HIV Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected South African patients (n=468) received blinded lamivudine or emtricitabine, stavudine, and either nevirapine or efavirenz (based on screening viral load). Baseline characteristics were analyzed in univariate and multivariate regression, to identify risk factors for hepatotoxicity (grade 3 or greater increase in serum aminotransferase levels). The occurrence of early hepatotoxicity was 17% in the nevirapine group and 0% in the efavirenz group and was balanced between the lamivudine and emtricitabine arms. Two subjects died of hepatic failure. Independent risk factors were body-mass index (BMI) <18.5, female sex, serum albumin level <35 g/L, mean corpuscular volume >85 fL, plasma HIV-1 RNA load <20,000 copies/mL, aspartate aminotransferase level <75 IU/L, and lactate dehydrogenase level <164 IU/L. The use of nevirapine in female patients with a low BMI should be discouraged.

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