The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Stocrin and Babies (Safety and Toxicity of Anti-HIV Medications During Pregnancy, 2009)

May 6, 2009

Hi,Thanks for all the advise so far.I am 34yr female and positive for the last 11yrs, am considerng having a baby next year.I have been on stocrin and truvada for the last two yrs.I know stocrin is not compatable with pregnancy so I need advice as to what alternative are there if I want to remain on ARV's and have a baby.Pls advise.Thank you in advance

Response from Dr. Frascino


There are many potential effective antiretroviral regimens from which to choose. Your best option depends on many factors, including resistance test results, previous medication history, drug allergies or intolerances, drug-drug interactions, pill burden, etc. You are correct: Stocrin (Sustiva, efavirenz) is contraindicated during pregnancy.

I'll reprint some information below regarding the safety and toxicity of anti-HIV medications during pregnancy. Talk to your HIV specialist. He will help you select your best treatment option.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Safety and Toxicity of Anti-HIV Medications During Pregnancy

A Service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services HIV and Pregnancy

Drug Safety Terms Used in This Fact Sheet: Diabetic ketoacidosis: a complication of diabetes in which sugar is not broken down for energy and fat is broken down instead. This leads to an unhealthy buildup of ketones (fat by-products). Entry inhibitor: class of anti-HIV medication. Entry inhibitors work by preventing HIV from entering a cell. Integrase inhibitor: class of anti-HIV medication. Integrase inhibitors prevent the HIV integrase protein from inserting HIV's genetic information into an infected cell's own DNA. In utero: the time an unborn baby is in its mother's uterus. Mitochondrial toxicity: damage to the mitochondria (rod-like structures that serve as a cell's powerhouse) that can cause problems in the heart, nerves, muscles, pancreas, kidneys, and liver. Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI): class of anti-HIV medication. NNRTIs work by blocking reverse transcriptase, a protein that HIV needs to make copies of itself. Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI): class of anti-HIV medication. NRTIs are faulty versions of the building blocks (nucleosides) used by reverse transcriptase, a protein that HIV needs to make copies of itself. Protease inhibitor (PI): class of anti-HIV medication. PIs work by blocking protease, a protein that HIV needs to make copies of itself.

Reviewed July 2008 This information is based on the U.S. Public Health Service's Recommendations for Use of Antiretroviral Drugs in Pregnant HIV-Infected Women for Maternal Health and Interventions to Reduce Perinatal HIV Transmission in the United States (available at

I am HIV positive and pregnant. Are there any anti-HIV medications that may be dangerous to me or my baby during my pregnancy?

Yes. Although information on anti-HIV medications in pregnant women is limited, enough is known to make recommendations about medications for you and your baby. However, the long-term effects of babies' exposure to anti- HIV medications in utero are unknown. Talk to your doctor about which medications may be harmful during your pregnancy and what medication and dose changes are possible. In general, protease inhibitors (PIs) are associated with increased levels of blood sugar (hyperglycemia), development of diabetes mellitus or worsening of diabetes mellitus symptoms (see Hyperglycemia Fact Sheet), and diabetic ketoacidosis. Pregnancy is also a risk factor for hyperglycemia, but it is not known whether PI use increases the risk for pregnancy-associated hyperglycemia or gestational diabetes. Two non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), Rescriptor (delavirdine) and Sustiva (efavirenz), are not recommended for the treatment of HIV-infected pregnant women. Use of these medications during pregnancy may lead to birth defects. Another NNRTI, Viramune (nevirapine), may be part of your HIV treatment regimen. Long-term use of Viramune may cause negative side effects, such as exhaustion or weakness; nausea or lack of appetite; yellowing of eyes or skin; or signs of liver toxicity, such as severe skin rash, chills, fever, sore throat, or other flu-like symptoms, liver tenderness or enlargement or elevated liver enzyme levels (see Hepatotoxicity Fact Sheet). These negative side effects are not normally seen with short-term use (one or two doses) of Viramune during pregnancy. However, because pregnancy and early symptoms of liver toxicity can be similar, your doctor should monitor you closely while you are taking Viramune. Also, Viramune should be used with caution in women who have never received HIV treatment and who have CD4 counts greater than 250 cells/mm3. Liver toxicity has occurred more frequently in these patients. Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) may cause mitochondrial toxicity, which may lead to a buildup of lactic acid in the blood. This buildup is known as hyperlactatemia or lactic acidosis (see Lactic Acidosis Fact Sheet). This toxicity may be of particular concern for pregnant women and babies exposed to NRTIs in utero. There is very little known about the use of the entry inhibitors Fuzeon (enfuvirtide) and Selzentry (maraviroc) and the integrase inhibitor, Isentress (raltegravir), during pregnancy. For more information: Contact your doctor or an AIDSinfo Health Information Specialist at 1 800 448 0440 or

HIV - Wife and pregnant with HIV + Husband
Can I have a son? $ 80 donation

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint