Increased mitochondrial toxicity with ribavirin in HIV/HCV coinfection

Lancet. 2001 Jan 27;357(9252):280-1. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(00)03618-7.


In two of 15 patients coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus who received interferon-alpha plus ribavirin in addition to HAART, we observed multiorgan dysfunction and lactic acidaemia. As ribavirin is a nucleoside analogue, an increased risk of mitochondrial toxicity can be induced in HIV-infected patients already treated with nucleoside analogues, leading to clinical deterioration in some cases.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Antiviral Agents / adverse effects*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis C / complications*
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / adverse effects
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use
  • Mitochondrial Myopathies / chemically induced*
  • Ribavirin / adverse effects*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Ribavirin