Updated: 05/01/2013 09:03 | By Agence France-Presse

Less-used drug better for children with HIV: study

The antiretroviral drug efavirenz is more effective at treating children infected with HIV than the more commonly used and cheaper nevirapine, according to a study.


Less-used drug better for children with HIV: study

The antiretroviral drug efavirenz, produced in India, arrives on July 2, 2007 in Brazil. Efavirenz is more effective at treating children infected with HIV than the more commonly used and cheaper nevirapine, according to a study.

The study is being billed as the first large-scale comparison of first-line treatments for HIV-positive children, and could have an impact on care in poor parts of the world, where most of them live.

Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the findings show initial treatment with efavirenz was more effective than nevirapine in suppressing the virus that causes AIDS in children aged three to 16.

The study involved more than 800 children, and was carried out by researchers from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Botswana-Baylor Children's Clinical Center of Excellence.

The World Health Organization currently recommends both efavirenz and nevirapine in poor areas like sub-Saharan Africa, home to 90 percent of the world's more than three million HIV-positive children.

"Because nevirapine costs less than efavirenz and is more widely available in pediatric formulations, it is currently the more frequent choice," said lead author Elizabeth Lowenthal, of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"However, our study suggests that efavirenz produces better outcomes."

Senior author Robert Gross of Penn Medicine said that, given the evidence, it was "very reasonable to adjust pediatric treatment guidelines."

"However, as we move towards such changes, more work should be done to make efavirenz a more financially viable option for children on antiretroviral therapy in these resource-limited settings," he added.

Several previous studies have shown efavirenz to be more effective in adults, leading to it being recommended over nevirapine in a number of countries.

Nevirapine is produced by Boehringer Ingelheim, while efavirenz is marketed under the name Sustiva in the United States by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

facebook recommendations

NEWS VIDEOS

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。

more world news...