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PLoS One. 2008;3(12):e3981. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003981. Epub 2008 Dec 19.

Steady state bioequivalence of generic and innovator formulations of stavudine, lamivudine, and nevirapine in HIV-infected Ugandan adults.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States of America.



Generic antiretroviral therapy is the mainstay of HIV treatment in resource-limited settings, yet there is little evidence confirming the bioequivalence of generic and brand name formulations. We compared the steady-state pharmacokinetics of lamivudine, stavudine and nevirapine in HIV-infected subjects who were receiving a generic formulation (Triomune) or the corresponding brand formulations (Epivir, Zerit, and Viramune).


An open-label, randomized, crossover study was carried out in 18 HIV-infected Ugandan subjects stabilized on Triomune-40. Subjects received lamivudine (150 mg), stavudine (40 mg), and nevirapine (200 mg) in either the generic or brand formulation twice a day for 30 days, before switching to the other formulation. At the end of each treatment period, blood samples were collected over 12 h for pharmacokinetic analysis. The main outcome measures were the mean AUC(0-12h) and C(max). Bioequivalence was defined as a geometric mean ratio between the generic and brand name within the 90% confidence interval of 0.8-1.25. The geometric mean ratios and the 90% confidence intervals were: stavudine C(max), 1.3 (0.99-1.71) and AUC(0-12h), 1.1 (0.87-1.38); lamivudine C(max), 0.8 (0.63-0.98) and AUC(0-12h), 0.8 (0.65-0.99); and nevirapine C(max), 1.1 (0.95-1.23) and AUC(0-12h), 1.1 (0.95-1.31). The generic formulation was not statistically bioequivalent to the brand formulations during steady state, although exposures were comparable. A mixed random effects model identified about 50% intersubject variability in the pharmacokinetic parameters.


These findings provide support for the use of Triomune in resource-limited settings, although identification of the sources of intersubject variability in these populations is critical.

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