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Any information on drug in development MK-0518, Merck.
May 14, 2007

I was recently diagnosed. my CD4 is 4! Apparently my first treatment Kaletra and Truvada were not doing effect in my body. I went to new doctors this week and the suggested I go into a study program for a new drug in development MK-0518, Merck, because I am resistant to all the approved drugs in the market. Before I start this experimental drug MK-0518, Merck, I would like to know as much information as possible on the success rate of MK-0518, Merck, as well as any testimonies of how this drug is taking effect, good or bad, on other people. Thank you for your help!

Response from Dr. Daar

Thank you for your post.

There have been several studies reported on MK-0518, now called raltegravir. In general it appears to be well tolerated as part of a combination regimen. In addition, it has proven to be highly effective at suppressing virus in many treatment-experienced patients.

Important limitations are that the overall experience remains somewhat limited since it is still in development. In addition, like all antiretrovirals it is best used with other active drugs in order to minimize the risk of developing integrase inhibitor resistance.

At this point you need to sit down with your expert provider, define what your options are and see if this drug can be used as part of a regimen with several other active drugs. If there are no other active drugs available, consideration must be given to holding off, if possible until it can be used with other agents including those in clinical development such as CCR5 antagonists and/or etravirine.

Best, Eric


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