Drug Used In Treating Children Infected With HIV
The approval of the use of the drug raltegravir, an antiretroviral drug by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is said to slow down the spread of the infection from HIV, provides a new method to treat children and adolescents with HIV infection. This is according to Sharon Nachman, M.D who was the principal investigator in the clinical trial that investigated the safety and effects of the drug in children and adolescents infected with HIV.
The drug, raltegravir, was approved by the FDA to be used together with other antiretroviral drugs in treating children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 18 who were infected with HIV on 21 December. Initially, in 2007, the drug had been approved to be used in treating adults, and it falls in the category of medication known as HIV integrase inhibitors.
The clinical study that was funded by the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, studied 96 patients who had initially been treated with other HIV medications before being subjected to raltegravir. The patients were treated with the drug for 24 consecutive weeks after which it was observed that 53% of the participants had untraceable levels of HIV in their blood.
According to Dr. Nachman, the trial showed that the drug was effective in treating children that had not responded to other treatments, and also it showed no significant toxicity or interactions with the other medications used in HIV treatment.
The raltegravir is formulated as a pill taken twice a day either with or without food, and there is also the chewable form meant for the adolescents.
The side effects of the raltegravir medication, as per the FDA reports include insomnia and headaches. This has been reported by patients, both adults and children on this medication.
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