Virakinetics II was designed as an observational, multicenter cohort study conducted in HIV-positive patients treated with NFV-based combinations. Trough (pre-dose) concentrations of NFV+M8 in plasma were determined using a novel ELISA test (NFV TDM-ELISA®) and analyzed using clinical and laboratory parameters. Drug levels were sorted as below, within or above a given interval ( < 0.8 μg/mL, 0.8-3.5 μg/mL and > 3.5 μg/mL, respectively). Longitudinal analysis was performed in a subset of patients who underwent two or more determinations. Ninety patients on NFV-containing HAART were enrolled and 43 were coinfected with HCV and/or HBV. Among coinfected patients, 10 subjects had a clinical or histological diagnosis of cirrhosis. Compared to the HIV-monoinfected, the coinfected patients were significantly older, more treatment-experienced, with higher frequency of lipodystrophy and altered liver function test values (all p values: < 0.05). Coinfected patients were also more likely to be on a reduced dose of NFV than monoinfected (p=0.03). No significant difference was observed between the two groups with regard to NFV+M8 trough values and concentration range distribution. Median NFV+M8 Ctrough concentrations were higher in coinfected patients, but without reaching statistical significance (p=0.2). This new ELISA test proved to be a rapid, convenient and reliable tool for assessing NFV+M8 plasma levels in HIV-positive patients. It could be suitable for use within the framework of routine clinical practice even in peripheral centers without specialized laboratories.
Keywords: Nelfinavir, Therapeutic drug monitoring, HIV therapy, Pharmacokinetics, ELISA
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