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Abacavir - Coronary Disease
Apr 18, 2008

Is there there any connection between Abacavir and Coronary disease? And if so what advice is the manufacturer currently offering?

Response from Dr. Henry

Recent data from the DAD study noted an increased risk for a heart attack in patients that were taking abacavir within the preceding 6 months. The overall risk for a heart attack was small and concentrated among persons at high risk for a heart attack. Increased risk was also seen (to a lesser degree) for patients taking ddI or 3TC. No comparative data was available for patients taking tenofovir which usually would be the preferred alternative drug to abacavir. Also, for little of the population was HLA B5701 testing done which is now recommended before starting abacavir. Focusing on standard risk factors for heart attack remains a high priority while considering switching off abacavir is something to consider perhaps in patients with persistent very high risk for a heart attack. Overall data remains very limited and preliminary so it seems premature to broadly switch off abacavir until more relevant data is available. KH

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