Antiretroviral medications during pregnancy for therapy or prophylaxis.

University of Southern California School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, 1640 Marengo Street, #300, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.
Current HIV/AIDS Reports (Impact Factor: 3.8). 06/2009; 6(2):68-76.
Source: PubMed


The use of combination antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy has enabled us to decrease perinatal HIV transmission to less than 1%, in areas with adequate resources. Questions remain regarding the safety of these medications for the mother, fetus, and child. Recent publications present conflicting data about associations between antiretrovirals and prematurity and other adverse pregnancy outcomes, and if highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is necessary for all pregnant women. The pharmacokinetics of some antiretroviral medications are altered significantly during pregnancy; placental transfer to the fetus is variable. The well-documented benefit of HAART for preventing mother-to-child transmission generally outweighs the potential risks to the fetus, infant, and mother. However, potential adverse effects are of concern, and questions remain as to the optimal treatment strategy. More data on the effects of antiretrovirals during pregnancy are needed.

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    • "It is plausible that pregnancy may influence the timing of HAART initiation and therapeutic outcomes in HIV. Pregnancy may affect pharmacokinetics that could influence side effects.18–20 Pregnancy may contribute to greater drug intolerance in female recipients and higher rates of treatment discontinuation as following delivery HAART may be stopped depending on patient and physician preferences towards remaining on treatment (dependent on disease stage). "
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