Antiretroviral therapy-associated toxicities in the resource-poor world: The challenge of a limited formulary

Richard A. Murphy, Henry Sunpath, Daniel R. Kuritzkes, Francois Venter, Rajesh T. Gandhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Toxicities related to antiretroviral therapy make long-term adherence to therapy difficult for patients and present challenges to providers, especially those in the resource-poor world who work with a limited formulary. In resource-poor settings, where limited drug options are the rule, when and how to change therapy are especially difficult problems. Drugs such as stavudine and didanosine are associated with serious metabolic complications, such as lactic acidosis, pancreatitis, and peripheral neuropathy. Antiretroviral agents associated with fewer metabolic effects, such as tenofovir and abacavir, remain widely unavailable. Because the current formulary restrictions appear to be unlikely to change quickly, providers in resource-poor countries must be familiar with the common adverse events - including metabolic complications, hypersensitivity reactions, anemia, and liver enzyme abnormalities - and must understand how to manage them with what is locally available. Most importantly, to avoid drug toxicities, a larger formulary is needed in resource-poor settings, and this must be a high priority for policy makers and health care professionals involved in treating human immunodeficiency virus infection globally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S449-S456
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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