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Subst Use Misuse. 2006;41(10-12):1395-463.

Drug interactions between psychoactive substances and antiretroviral therapy in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency and hepatitis viruses.

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Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC, USA.


The liver disease characteristic of alcohol dependence encompasses three main related entities: steatosis, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Alcoholic cirrhosis is a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality. Alcohol intake among injecting drug users is a major contributor to transmission of viral infections, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C viruses (HCV). HIV and HCV coinfected patients develop liver diseases earlier and more severely than the monoinfected individuals, including hepatocellular carcinoma. Interactions exist between the therapeutic drugs used to minimize and control the drug and alcohol dependence. Furthermore, drug-drug interactions occur between the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and alcohol, different HAART components and methadone, or each one of the therapies with the other, thus contributing to a higher toxicity level. With the evolution of effective antiretroviral therapy, survival of persons with HIV, and the syndrome it causes, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has increased dramatically. Drug-drug interactions may appear between alcohol and anti-HBV or anti-HCV, therapy in the presence or absence of anti-HIV therapy. Several other medical-, social-, and drug-related factors of this population have to be considered when providing HAART. Because many coinfected patients also have problems with substance use, dealing with their drug dependence is an important first step in an attempt to improve adherence to and tolerance of antiviral therapy. It is necessary to minimize the risk of liver disease acceleration and/or reinfection with hepatitis viruses. Knowledge of potential drug interactions between methadone, antiretroviral therapy, psychoactive drugs, and antipsychotics and the role of coinfection with HBV or HCV and the drugs used in eradicating viral hepatitis permits suitable antiretroviral combinations.

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