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Predictors of Discontinuation of Efavirenz as Treatment for HIV, Due to Neuropsychiatric Side Effects, in a Multi-Ethnic Sample in the United Kingdom

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posted on 2023-08-30, 17:33 authored by Johnson K. C. Law, Laurie T. Butler, Matthew M. Hamill
Efavirenz (EFV) is one of the most commonly prescribed antiretroviral therapy (ART) medications for human immunodeficiency virus-infected adults because of its favorable pharmacokinetic profile and well-documented efficacy. Nonetheless, neuropsychiatric adverse events (AE) occur in almost half of the EFV users and it is the main reason for treatment discontinuation. To identify the sociodemographic characteristics and reported neuropsychiatric side effects that placed EFV users at an increased risk of discontinuation in a multi-ethnic sample in the United Kingdom. A retrospective medical records analysis of patients prescribed EFV-containing ART in an outpatient sexual health clinic between 2010 and 2016. One hundred forty-nine medical records were reviewed. Fifty-five patients discontinued EFV within the study period. About 55.7% of patients suffered from at least one neuropsychiatric AE, the most commonly recorded symptoms were depression, vivid dreams, dizziness, and sleep disturbance. There was an inverse relationship between number of AE and EFV continuation [adjust odds ratio (OR) = 0.12; confidence interval (95% CI) = 0.03–0.44, p < .05]. Furthermore, neuropsychiatric symptoms, including depression (adjust OR = 3.01; 95% CI = 1.30–6.96, p < .05), sleep disturbance (adjust OR = 3.00; 95% CI = 1.10–8.19, p < .05), and vivid dreams (adjust OR = 2.51; 95% CI = 1.05–6.00, p < .05), were independent predictors of EFV discontinuation. The findings revealed that patients who did not experience any neuropsychiatric side effects were eight times more likely to stay on an EFV-containing regimen than those who suffered from more than three symptoms. Additionally, patients who experienced depression or sleep disturbance were at threefold elevated risk of discontinuing an EFV-based regimen. The implications for clinical practice are discussed.



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AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses




Mary Ann Liebert

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  • Accepted version


  • eng

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Faculty of Science & Engineering

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