Effect of efavirenz on the pharmacokinetics of simvastatin, atorvastatin, and pravastatin: results of AIDS Clinical Trials Group 5108 Study

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2005 Jul 1;39(3):307-12. doi: 10.1097/01.qai.0000167156.44980.33.


Efavirenz (EFV) is associated with hyperlipidemia when used in combination with other antiretroviral drugs. EFV is a mixed inducer/inhibitor of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 isozyme and may interact with hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors that are primarily metabolized via CYP3A4. To assess the drug-drug interaction of EFV used in combination with simvastatin (SIM), atorvastatin (ATR), or pravastatin (PRA), an open-label trial was conducted in 52 healthy adult HIV-seronegative subjects across AIDS Clinical Trials Group sites in the United States. Subjects received 40 mg of SIM, 10 mg of ATR, or 40 mg of PRA daily on days 0 through 3 and days 15 through 18. EFV was administered daily at a dose of 600 mg on days 4 through 18. SIM, ATR, and PRA concentrations were determined before and after EFV, and EFV concentrations were determined before and after statins. EFV reduced SIM acid exposure (area under the curve at 0 to 24 hours [AUC0-24 h]) by 58% (Wilcoxon signed rank test, P=0.003) and active HMG-CoA reductase inhibitory activity by 60% (P<0.001). EFV reduced ATR exposure by 43% (P<0.001) and the total active ATR exposure by 34% (P=0.005). EFV administration resulted in a 40% decrease in PRA exposure (P=0.005). SIM, ATR, and PRA had no effect on non-steady-state EFV concentrations. In conclusion, EFV, when administered with SIM, ATR, or PRA, can result in significant induction of statin metabolism. The reduced inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase activity during coadministration of EFV may result in diminished antilipid efficacy at usual doses of SIM, ATR, and PRA.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alkynes
  • Anti-HIV Agents / adverse effects*
  • Atorvastatin
  • Benzoxazines
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cyclopropanes
  • Drug Interactions
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / metabolism
  • HIV Seronegativity
  • Heptanoic Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Heptanoic Acids / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics*
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy
  • Hyperlipidemias / etiology*
  • Hyperlipidemias / metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxazines / administration & dosage*
  • Oxazines / adverse effects*
  • Pravastatin / administration & dosage*
  • Pravastatin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Pyrroles / administration & dosage*
  • Pyrroles / pharmacokinetics*
  • Simvastatin / administration & dosage*
  • Simvastatin / pharmacokinetics*


  • Alkynes
  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Benzoxazines
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Cyclopropanes
  • Heptanoic Acids
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Oxazines
  • Pyrroles
  • Atorvastatin
  • Simvastatin
  • efavirenz
  • Pravastatin