Effect of treatment with efavirenz on neuropsychiatric adverse events of interferon in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients.
BACKGROUND: Mood disorders and other neuropsychiatric disorders are common adverse events limiting tolerability of alpha-interferon (IFN) therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV). Because efavirenz (EFV) frequently produces neuropsychiatric side effects, we studied the effect of EFV in the incidence of these side effects in HIV/HCV patients receiving IFN. METHODS: Prospective cohort of HIV/HCV patients receiving IFN and ribavirin. Adverse events and concomitant medications were systematically recorded once monthly. RESULTS: Among 266 HIV/HCV patients starting a course of IFN (91% pegylated IFN) plus ribavirin, 53 (20%) received concomitant EFV and 213 (80%) did not. Most EFV patients (92%) were already on EFV before starting IFN (mean 26 months). Neuropsychiatric side effects were frequent, without significant differences between both groups (79% vs 65%, P = 0.051), and only 10 patients discontinued IFN. Mood disorders were reported more frequently in EFV patients (36% vs 23%, P = 0.046), but antidepressant therapy use was similar in both groups. The incidence of anxiety, insomnia, irritability, headache or prescription of anxiolytics or hypnotics was similar. CONCLUSIONS: Neuropsychiatric adverse events are common in HIV/HCV patients receiving IFN, usually mild or moderate. EFV may favor symptoms of mood disorders, although it was not related to an increased risk of significant depression requiring specific treatment.
Quereda, C; Corral, I; Moreno, A; Pérez-Elías, MJ; Casado, JL; Dronda, F; Rodríguez-Sagrado, MA; Hernández, B; Moreno, S
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