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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 2;8(12):e80242. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080242. eCollection 2013.

Low body weight in females is a risk factor for increased tenofovir exposure and drug-related adverse events.

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Department of Infectious Disease, L. Sacco University Hospital, Milan, Italy.


Treatment with tenofovir sometimes leads to non-reversible kidney and/or bone diseases. Factors associated with these drug-related adverse events are poorly characterized. Our objective was to investigate such factors in patients treated long term with daily tenofovir. One-hundred Caucasian HIV-positive patients with basal creatinine clearance >80 mL/min treated with tenofovir for at least 6 months and with at least one assessment of tenofovir plasma trough concentrations were considered. Tenofovir-associated adverse events were defined as the appearance of pathological proteinuria, worsening of renal function or bone demineralization. By multivariate regression analysis, we found that serum creatinine (p = 0.003) and body weight (p = 0.002) were the factors independently associated with plasma tenofovir concentrations. In particular, women with body weight<50 kg had significantly higher plasma tenofovir concentrations than those weighting >50 Kg (160±93 vs.71±52 ng/mL, p<0.001). High tenofovir plasma trough concentrations and the age of the patients were independently associated with the development of drug-related kidney and bone toxicity. In this retrospective study we have shown that HIV-infected women with low body weight are at risk to be exposed to high tenofovir plasma trough concentrations, ultimately resulting in a significant hazard to develop long-term tenofovir complications.

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