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Ther Drug Monit. 2010 Oct;32(5):579-85. doi: 10.1097/FTD.0b013e3181f0634c.

The convergence of therapeutic drug monitoring and pharmacogenetic testing to optimize efavirenz therapy.

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  • 1Pharmacy Service, University Hospital of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.


The aim of this study was to show the benefits of combining therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) and pharmacogenetic analyses to optimize efavirenz (EFV) therapy. Patients were selected to minimize nongenetic differences between patients: 32 HIV adherent patients without drug interactions treated with an EFV nonindividualized dose over at least 1 year and included in a TDM program were genotyped according to minimum steady-state concentrations (C ss min). The EFV plasma concentrations (n = 158) were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet, and genetic polymorphisms were analyzed using the PHARMAchip. Central nervous system side effects were assessed systematically. Genetic polymorphisms were detected in 79.2% of patients with EFV Css min outside the therapeutic range (1-4 mg/L), showing the high diagnostic efficacy of combining TDM with pharmacogenetic testing. CYP2B6 (516 G>T) polymorphisms were associated with a significant decrease in EFV plasma clearance in 80% of the poor metabolizer patients (G/T, T/T). All homozygous patients had C ss min greater than 4 mg/L, 75% of them showing central nervous system side effects. For such patients, pharmacogenetic testing with TDM could be advantageous because the polymorphism is a determinant of these circumstances and TDM would allow reductions in dose to be specified without assuming an equal dose for any given genotype. In fact, poor metabolizer patients required less than a 600 mg standard starting dose, implying that if CYP2B6 screening were available, EFV therapy could be started at 400 mg and later TDM-individualized. The results of this study clarify the genotype versus phenotype debate for optimizing drug therapy. Pharmacogenetic testing together with TDM links genotype to phenotypic differences in drug concentrations and adverse events, providing additional support for dosage adjustment and a more efficient use of both approaches. As genotype screens become cheaper, and in combination with TDM, adjusting dosages in the light of genetic polymorphisms will become a reality.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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