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Malnutrition may reduce HIV medication levels in pregnant or breastfeeding women, impeding efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission.
A recent study involved 225 Ugandan women being treated for HIV infection. About 80% had inadequate food for their families, 50% reported moderate to severe hunger, and 26% lost weight during pregnancy. Researchers found substantially reduced drug levels in malnourished study participants compared with well-nourished participants: a decrease in exposure of 33% for lopinavir, 15% for efavirenz, and 17% for ritonavir. They also found that during pregnancy the body clears lopinavir and ritonavir more quickly, which clinicians account for when dosing pregnant women.
From JAMA’s Daily News Site. JAMA. 2014;311(16):1600. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.3907