Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine the incidence of, and risk factors for, nevirapine (NVP)-associated hepatotoxicity and rash in HIV-infected Thai men and women, including pregnant women, receiving NVP-containing highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
Methods: NVP-containing HAART was prescribed to eligible men and women enrolled in the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and MTCT-Plus programmes. All pregnant women received zidovudine (ZDV)/lamivudine (3TC)/NVP from >14 weeks of gestational age if their CD4 cell count was <or=200 cells/microL or from >28 weeks if their CD4 cell count was >200 cells/microL. Patients followed for at least 8 weeks after starting HAART or until delivery were included in the analyses.
Results: Of 409 patients, 244 were pregnant women, 87 were nonpregnant women and 78 were men. Hepatotoxicity occurred in 15.6% of all patients. Men had a significantly higher rate of asymptomatic hepatotoxicity (P=0.021). Pregnant women receiving HAART for PMTCT (92% had CD4 cell counts >250 cells/microL) had a significantly higher rate of symptomatic hepatotoxicity (P=0.0003) than pregnant women receiving HAART for therapy. Rash occurred in 16.1% of all patients. The patients' sex and baseline CD4 cell count were not associated with the risk of hepatotoxicity or rash. NVP was discontinued in 4.2% and 6.8% of patients because of hepatotoxicity and rash, respectively.
Conclusions: The incidence of NVP-related hepatotoxicity and rash in Thai adults is similar to incidences reported for other populations. While larger studies are needed, our data support continued use of NVP-containing regimens as first-line treatment in developing countries for HIV-infected patients, including pregnant women. Pregnant women with high CD4 cell counts may experience higher rates of symptomatic hepatotoxicity and thus require careful clinical and laboratory monitoring.