A high incidence of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)-induced lactic acidosis in HIV-infected patients in a South African context.

R Geddes, S Knight, MY Moosa, A Reddi, K Uebel, H Sunpath

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OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence of and predisposing risk factors for lactic acidosis in HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral drugs in South Africa. DESIGN: Observational case series. SETTING: Sinikithemba HIV Clinic, McCord Hospital, Durban. SUBJECTS: Eight hundred and ninety-one HIV-positive patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) during an 18-month period commencing in January 2004. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Fourteen cases of lactic acidosis (incidence rate of 19 (95% confidence interval (CI): 9-29) cases per 1,000 person-years of treatment) were reported. All cases were female, with a median age of 36 years and a median weight of 81 kg. The median time on HAART before developing lactic acidosis was 7.5 months and the median peak lactate level was 9.3 mmol/l. All cases were on stavudine (d4T), lamivudine (3TC) and 1 non-NRTI. The case mortality rate was 29% (4 patients). CONCLUSIONS: The incidence rate is higher than reported in studies in developed countries. This may be due to d4T, which is recommended as a first-line antiretroviral drug in South Africa. This implication raises the question whether it is an appropriate drug in first-line treatment of patients with predisposing risk factors such as female gender and being overweight.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalSouth African Medical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2006

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