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Author Topic: New WHO guidelines urge phase-out of major HIV drug Zerit  (Read 1382 times)

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Offline Miss Philicia

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New WHO guidelines urge phase-out of major HIV drug Zerit
« on: November 30, 2009, 04:24:16 AM »
... it's about time

Reuters

New WHO guidelines urge phase-out of major HIV drug
Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:12pm EST
By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) - Countries should phase out the use of Stavudine, the most widespread antiretroviral, because of "long-term, irreversible" side-effects in HIV patients including wasting and a nerve disorder, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

In sweeping changes to its guidelines, the WHO also recommended that people with HIV, including pregnant women, should start taking antiretroviral drugs earlier to live a longer and healthier life.

For the first time it advised HIV-positive women and their babies to take the drugs while breastfeeding to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus that causes AIDS.

Stavudine, also known as d4T, is marketed as Zerit by U.S. drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Generic versions are made by Cipla Ltd, Aurobindo Pharma Ltd and Strides Arcolab Ltd, all of India.

Stavudine, widely available in developing countries as a first-line therapy, is relatively cheap and easy to use, according to the United Nations agency.

But it causes a nerve disorder leading to numbness and burning pain in the hands and feet, and loss of body fat known as lipoatrophy or wasting, it said, conditions that are "disabling and disfiguring."

LESS TOXIC ALTERNATIVES

The WHO recommended "that countries progressively phase out the use of Stavudine as a preferred first-line therapy option and move to less toxic alternatives such as Zidovudine (AZT) or Tenofovir (TDF)." These are "equally effective alternatives."

Zidovudine was first manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline Plc whose patent expired in 2005. Aurobindo and Ranbaxy Laboratories, also of India, are among makers of the generic version. Tenofovir is marketed by Gilead Sciences under the name of Viread.

Of over 4 million people globally who take antiretrovirals, about half are on a regimen containing stavudine, down from 80 percent in 2006 when the WHO first said countries should envisage moving away from it because of its long-term effects, according to Dr. Siobhan Crowley of WHO's HIV/AIDS Department.

"It is the most widely used. There is a trend moving away from it. We think it will take some time," she told Reuters.

An earlier start to treatment of HIV-infected adults and adolescents with antiretrovirals reduces their viral load much sooner and therefore also lowers the risk of them spreading the virus, according to the WHO.

"The new recommendations are based on a solid body of evidence indicating that rates of death, morbidity and HIV and tuberculosis transmissions are all reduced by starting treatment earlier. This prolongs and improves quality of life," it said.

An estimated 33.4 million people worldwide, two thirds of them in sub-Saharan Africa, are infected with the AIDS virus, an annual United Nations report said last week.

"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline minismom

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Re: New WHO guidelines urge phase-out of major HIV drug Zerit
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 06:10:37 AM »
About 8 1/2 years too late for Mim, but I'm glad it's finally going to the way-side.  I take issue that Zidovudine is any gentler, though. It sure wasn't for Mim. Or maybe it was just the combo she was on -  Zidovudine, Lamivudine, and Stavudine (along with DdI and Viracept powder).

Good news, indeed, Philly.  Thanks for posting.

Mum
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Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: New WHO guidelines urge phase-out of major HIV drug Zerit
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 09:23:39 AM »
Yes, I thought of you and mini when I saw this.  I was on it, though I don't think it was as long as 8.5 years.  I think I was on it 5 years, which was long enough to give me neuropathy and lipoatrophy.  Zerit and Hivid (ddC, which was yanked off the market 3 years ago) were what did it. 
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Ann

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Re: New WHO guidelines urge phase-out of major HIV drug Zerit
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 09:49:27 AM »
Good riddance! I'm also surprised they seem to be pushing AZT, but I have to wonder if it's not because of the expired patent issue. (meaning it's an affordable alternative especially in places like Africa, and while it's not great, it's better than nothing for now)

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Offline elf

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Re: New WHO guidelines urge phase-out of major HIV drug Zerit
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2009, 10:50:42 AM »
Goodbye Combivir, I am quitting it after 15 months of use,
now Kaletra will be taken with Epzicom/Kivexa, once a day ;)
yay

;)
Let's have a Kiki!

Offline minismom

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Re: New WHO guidelines urge phase-out of major HIV drug Zerit
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2009, 05:41:16 AM »
Sorry, Philly, slight hijack.  Elf, you only take Kaletra once a day?  Mim is on kaletra (twice a day) and Epzicom (once a day).  The Epzicom may have to be changed (to what we have no clue) if she doesn't stop losing weight and start gaining it.


Philly, if I only knew then what I know now she would have never been on it - especially not at 8wks old and not as part of a first-line combo with no genotyping done.  Of course it also doesn't help that she was found to be resistent to it in 2002 (unknown to us until 2008) and kept on it until we switched docs in 2009. 

We had a rather nice Zerit burning back in the Spring.  Did you know it's about 800-proof?

www.watoto.com
www.MotherBearProject.org
"Whichever way you throw me, i will stand"
"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today...it's already tomorrow in Australia"  Charles Schultz

 


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