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Indinavir (By mouth)

Treats HIV infection. This medicine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but combinations of drugs may slow the progress of the disease.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Indinavir is used alone or in combination with other anti-HIV medicines to treat infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Indinavir will not cure or prevent HIV infection or AIDS. It helps keep HIV from reproducing and appears to slow down the destruction of the immune system. This may help delay problems… Read more
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Antiretroviral Agent

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Antiretroviral therapy response among HIV-2 infected patients: a systematic review

BACKGROUND: Few data are available on antiretroviral therapy (ART) response among HIV-2 infected patients. We conducted a systematic review on treatment outcomes among HIV-2 infected patients on ART, focusing on the immunological and virological responses in adults.

HIV monotherapy with ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitors: a systematic review

This review concluded that the overall efficacy of ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor monotherapy was inferior to highly active antiretroviral therapy in HIV treatment. Efficacy improved in patients started on monotherapy after HIV-RNA suppression for at least six months. These conclusions reflected the results of the review, but the uncertain quality of included studies mean they should be interpreted with caution.

Depression in Adults with a Chronic Physical Health Problem: Treatment and Management

This clinical guideline was commissioned by NICE and developed by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health. It sets out clear, evidenceand consensus-based recommendations for healthcare staff on how to treat and manage depression in adults with a chronic physical health problem.

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Summaries for consumers

Reducing the number of drugs in combination antiretroviral therapy for HIV after initial virologic response reduces the effectiveness of the treatment

Combination antiretroviral therapy can lower the amount of HIV in the blood, improve immune system function, and slow the progress of HIV. It is thought these drugs will need to be used for life. Keeping up this therapy, though, is difficult, and there are concerns about the adverse effects of the drugs and the development of resistance to the drugs over time. Therefore, attempting to use fewer drugs has been tried. However, the review of trials comparing combinations of three or four drugs, in patients who successfully completed initial therapy, with using fewer drugs found that a reduced number of drugs could not suppress the virus as well.

Treatment for cramps in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease

A cramp is a sudden, involuntary painful contraction of a muscle. Many people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease (MND), experience cramps during the course of the disease. These range from mild cramps that do not affect daily activities and sleep, through to very severe, painful cramps. Some medications that are used to treat cramps in people with no medical condition or with conditions other than ALS have been tested in ALS clinical trials. These medicines include vitamin E, creatine, quinidine, and gabapentin. Other medications such as quinine sulfate, magnesium, lioresal, dantrolene, clonazepam, diphenylhydantoin, and gabapentin have been used to treat cramps in people with ALS but their effectiveness is unknown. In 2006 and 2010 the US Food and Drugs Administration issued warnings concerning the use of quinine sulfate, which was the previously most widely prescribed medication for cramps in the US. This review sought to find out how effective medications and physical treatments for cramps are for people with ALS. The reviewers identified 20 randomised controlled trials in people with ALS comprising a total of 4789 participants. Only one trial, of the drug tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), directly investigated the effectiveness of an intervention for cramps. Thirteen randomised controlled ALS trials investigated cramps secondarily among other variables. The medications comprised vitamin E, baclofen, riluzole, L‐threonine, xaliproden, indinavir, and memantine. Six randomised controlled ALS trials investigated cramps as adverse events. The medications comprised creatine, gabapentin, dextromethorphan, quinidine and lithium. None of the 20 studies could demonstrate any benefit, but the studies were small. Current evidence on the treatment of cramps in ALS is lacking and more research is needed.

Antiretroviral post‐exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for occupational HIV exposure

This review evaluated the effects of antiretroviral post‐exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for preventing HIV infection following occupational exposure. No randomized controlled trials were identified. Only one case‐control study provides evidence for using zidovudine monotherapy. The study found that, in the occupational setting, HIV transmission was significantly associated with deep injury, visible blood on the sharp instrument, procedures involving a needle placed in the source patient's blood vessel, and terminal illness in the source patient. After taking these into account, it was found that those who became infected with HIV had significantly lower odds of having taken zidovudine after exposure, compared to those who did not seroconvert. There is no direct evidence to support the use of multi‐drug antiretroviral regimens following occupational exposure to HIV. However, due to the success of combination therapies in treating HIV‐infected individuals, a combination of drugs should be used for PEP. Eight reports from other studies confirmed the findings that adverse events were higher with a three‐drug regimen; however, discontinuation rates were not significantly different. A four‐week regimen of post‐exposure prophylaxis should be initiated as soon as possible after exposure, depending on the risk of seroconversion. Healthcare workers should be counseled about expected adverse events and given strategies for managing these events. They should also be advised that PEP is not 100% effective in preventing HIV seroconversion.

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