Intentional Non-Adherence to Medications among HIV Positive Alcohol Drinkers: Prospective Study of Interactive Toxicity Beliefs
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence is key to successful treatment of HIV infection and alcohol is a known barrier to adherence. Beyond intoxication, ART adherence is impacted by beliefs that mixing alcohol and medications is toxic.
To examine prospective relationships of factors contributing to intentional medication non-adherence when drinking.
People who both receive ART and drink alcohol (N = 178) were enrolled in a 12-month prospective cohort study that monitored beliefs about the hazards of mixing ART with alcohol (interactive toxicity beliefs), alcohol consumption using electronic daily diaries, ART adherence assessed by both unannounced pill counts and self-report, and chart-abstracted HIV viral load.
Participants who reported skipping or stopping their ART when drinking (N = 90, 51 %) demonstrated significantly poorer ART adherence, were less likely to be viral suppressed, and more likely to have CD4 counts under 200/cc3. Day-level analyses showed that participants who endorsed interactive toxicity beliefs were significantly more likely to miss medications on drinking days.
Confirming earlier cross-sectional studies, the current findings from a prospective cohort show that a substantial number of people intentionally skip or stop their medications when drinking. Interventions are needed to correct alcohol-related interactive toxicity misinformation and promote adherence among alcohol drinkers.
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- "Stopping and starting ART is not a viable treatment option. Damage caused by ART non-adherence likely outweighs that of alcohol and ARV drug interactions (Kalichman et al. 2012b). A conservative recommendation is that alcohol should be avoided altogether, both prior to commencing HIV treatment and, thereafter, once on ART. "
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ABSTRACT: Antiretroviral treatment (ART) has substantially reduced morbidity and mortality for HIV patients. In South Africa, with the largest ART programme globally, attention is needed not only on the further expansion of ART coverage, but also on factors which undermine its effectiveness, such as alcohol use.
Objective: Given the decentralised approach of nurse-initiated and -sustained ART in the South African primary health sector, it is important to document key aspects of alcohol use to be conveyed to HIV-positive individuals and those at risk for HIV.
Method: This study comprised a narrative review of relevant literature.
Results: Alcohol acts through both behavioural and physiological pathways to impact on the acquisition, further transmission and then progression of HIV disease. Besides links to risky sex, alcohol undermines the immune system, raising susceptibility to contracting and then countering HIV and other infections. There are important drug interactions between alcohol and ART, or therapies for opportunistic infections and other co-morbidities. Moreover, alcohol undermines adherence to the medication which is essential for effective ART.
Conclusion: Primary healthcare clinic attendees need evidence-based information on the detrimental effects of alcohol consumption on HIV infection, which ensue throughout the clinical course of HIV. This spans the role of alcohol consumption as a risk factor for HIV infection, HIV replication in infected individuals, a person’s response to HIV infection and HIV treatment. Primary healthcare workers, especially nurses and HIV counsellors, require training in order to screen for and provide appropriate interventions for HIV-positive patients, those on treatment and treatment-naïve patients, who will benefit from reduced alcohol consumption or the cessation thereof.
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Alcohol abuse occurs frequently in those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Alcohol has been linked to poor response to HIV treatment and more rapid progression of HIV. One possible contributor to such observations is drug interactions between alcohol and antiretroviral (ARV) medications. This study examined drug interactions between antiretroviral therapies (ARTs) containing either efavirenz or ritonavir with alcohol.
Human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals not currently receiving ARTs participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in which alcohol (or placebo) was administered and followed by blood sampling for pharmacokinetics, subjective, cardiovascular, and neuropsychological responses obtained at predetermined times. Antiretroviral therapy was then initiated and alcohol (or placebo) sessions were repeated after at least 2 weeks of observed ART.
Blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) were lower after ART in a pattern consistent with decreased bioavailability. No effect of alcohol on ritonavir or efavirenz pharmacokinetics was observed. A pharmacodynamic interaction between alcohol and efavirenz was observed as evidenced by no change in intoxication or drowsiness before and after efavirenz ART despite lower BAC.
These results show the effectiveness of implementing ART and its role in diminution of BAC, which could be associated with decreased risk of physiological toxicities related to alcohol consumption relative to those with untreated HIV infection. A potential pharmacodynamic interaction between alcohol and efavirenz was observed as demonstrated by a lack of decline in ratings of intoxication and drowsiness despite decreased BAC. Alcohol consumption did not alter the pharmacokinetics of ritonavir or efavirenz.
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Alcohol use is common among people with HIV, and beliefs about alcohol interactions with medications predict decreased medication adherence, risking drug-resistant mutations. Maraviroc is an HIV entry inhibitor approved for treatment of both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant HIV strains. The present study evaluated the effects of alcohol on maraviroc pharmacokinetics and the effects of maraviroc on alcohol pharmacokinetics.Methods
Ten healthy adults completed alcohol (1 g/kg) and placebo alcohol pharmacokinetics sessions before and after 7 days of maraviroc administration.ResultsAlcohol concentrations increased 12% following maraviroc. Maraviroc pharmacokinetics were unaffected by alcohol.Conclusions
Maraviroc treatment should not be interrupted if alcohol is consumed.
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