A newly FDA-approved antiretroviral medication for children shows promise in treating HIV in children and adolescents, according to a national study led by Stony Brook University School of Medicine professor Dr. Sharon Nachman.
The university on Friday announced the results of the study: 53 percent of the patients, all of whom were previously treated with other anti-HIV drug regimens, had an undetectable amount of HIV in their blood after 24 weeks of treatment with the drug raltegravir. No significant toxicities or interactions with other HIV drugs were identified in the study.
"The trial shows it has an excellent efficacy profile in children with HIV who have failed other regimens and is also effective against the virus regardless where the child lives around the word," said Nachman, the principal investigator and chief of the study.
According to the university, the clinical trial – which was sponsored by the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – studied 96 patients in multiple health centers throughout the nation. Those patients will be monitored for five years.
The FDA had approved raltegravir for adult use in 2007, and in December of 2011 approved it for children and adolescents. According to the university, Nachman's study offers the only pediatric data on raltegravir's use in children ages 2 to 18.
In addition to a traditional pill form, raltegravir comes in a chewable form for children that Nachman said is more convenient and may increase patient compliance with medication regimens.