Objective: The present study assessed the prevalence of adverse drug reactions
(ADRs) among HIV positive patients taking antiretroviral therapy referred to
Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tehran, Iran.
Methods: This is a cross sectional study regarding side effects of Highly Active Antiretroviral
Therapy (HAART) in HIV positive patients referred to Voluntary Counseling
and Testing (VCT) center in Imam Khomeini Hospital of Tehran, Iran during
a period of the year 2009 to 2010. Two hundred patients under antiretroviral treatment
evaluated for the side effects of drug based on available records, face to face interviews
and written lab data.
Results: Data was collected from a sample of 200 HIV positive patients (72% male).
Injection drug use was the most common route of HIV transmission. Co-Infections
with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) found in the majority of patients (60.5%). Tuberculosis
was the most prevalent opportunistic infection. One hundred eighty eight (94%) patients
experienced at least one adverse drug reaction. The most frequent clinical and
paraclinical findings were skin rash (28%) and abnormal liver function tests (36%).
Conclusion: Given the high prevalence of adverse drug reactions among HIV positive
patients taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) in this study, clinicians should be
aware of ADRs at the initiation of ART as complications can affect patients’ adherence
to the therapy.