For children and adolescents with HIV infection, the recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the use of raltegravir, an antiretroviral drug that slows the spread of HIV infection, offers a new weapon to treat HIV infection in children. So says Sharon Nachman, M.D., Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Pediatrics, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and the Principal Investigator and Study Chair of a national multicenter clinical trial that studied the safety and efficacy of raltegravir in HIV-infected children and adolescents.
The FDA approved raltegravir for use with other antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV infection in children and adolescents ages 2 to 18 years on December 21. Approved for use in adults in 2007, raltegravir is part of a class of medications called HIV integrase inhibitors.
In the clinical trial, sponsored by the National Institute of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, all of the 96 patients enrolled had previously been treated with a regimen of other HIV medications before raltegravir. After being treated for 24 weeks with raltegravir, 53 percent of the patients had an undetectable amount of HIV in their blood.
"Raltegravir is an important new option for children with HIV. 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," says Dr. Nachman. "The data also shows no significant toxicities or interactions with other HIV medications."