Decreased Absorption of Dolutegravir and Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate, But Not Emtricitabine, in an HIV-Infected Patient Following Oral and Jejunostomy-Tube Administration

Pharmacotherapy. 2017 Aug;37(8):e82-e89. doi: 10.1002/phar.1960. Epub 2017 Jul 18.


The use of enteral feeding tubes to administer antiretroviral medications is necessary in certain patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. However, adequacy of drug exposures after these administration routes are largely unknown, making dosing recommendations and the attainment of viral suppression challenging in this patient population. This report describes a patient with advanced HIV infection and a complicated medical history including long-term intractable nausea/vomiting necessitating antiretroviral medication administration via a Roux-en-Y jejunostomy (J)-tube. Pharmacokinetic assessments were performed to compare differences in antiretroviral drug absorption and plasma exposure following oral and J-tube administration of dolutegravir, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, and emtricitabine. Results were also compared with published pharmacokinetic data in HIV-infected individuals. Exposure to dolutegravir and tenofovir were similar between J-tube and oral administration routes, whereas emtricitabine exposure was 38% lower when administered via J-tube. However, in comparison with reference data in HIV-infected individuals taking these medications orally, exposure to dolutegravir and tenofovir was 75-76% and 55-61% lower, respectively, following both routes of administration. Emtricitabine exposure was similar to and 71% higher than reference data following J-tube and oral administration, respectively. This report highlights the importance of performing pharmacokinetic assessments in patients with the potential for impaired drug absorption to ensure antiretroviral treatment success.

Keywords: HIV; J-tube; antiretroviral; dolutegravir; emtricitabine; pharmacokinetics; tenofovir disoproxil fumarate; therapeutic drug monitoring.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Anti-HIV Agents / blood
  • Anti-HIV Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Emtricitabine / blood
  • Emtricitabine / pharmacokinetics
  • Enteral Nutrition
  • HIV Infections*
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 3-Ring / blood
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 3-Ring / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Jejunostomy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxazines
  • Piperazines
  • Pyridones
  • Tenofovir / blood
  • Tenofovir / pharmacokinetics


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 3-Ring
  • Oxazines
  • Piperazines
  • Pyridones
  • Tenofovir
  • dolutegravir
  • Emtricitabine