Background. This study determined the safety, pharmacokinetics, antiviral activity and immunologic effects of efavirenz liquid formulation, nelfinavir and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) in HIV-infected children, 3 to 9 years of age. Methods. Plasma HIV-1 RNA and lymphocyte subsets were measured at various intervals after initiation of therapy. Pharmacokinetic studies were performed at Week 2, and doses of efavirenz and nelfinavir were adjusted if area under the curve values fell outside specified target ranges. Results. This combination of antiretrovirals was well-tolerated. Pharmacokinetic values were similar to those observed in a previous study of older children who received efavirenz capsules in combination with nelfinavir and NRTIs. After 48 weeks of therapy 63% of subjects had plasma HIV RNA levels of <400 copies/ml, and 58% had <50 copies/ml in an intent-to-treat analysis. CD4 cell count and percentage rose significantly over this time, whereas the number of activated CD8 cells declined. Conclusions. Combination therapy with efavirenz liquid formulation, nelfinavir and NRTIs is an attractive treatment option for HIV infected children >3 years of age who are unable to take efavirenz capsules.
- Antiretroviral therapy
- Pediatric human immunodeficiency virus infection