Massive Change in U.S. Treatment Guidelines
The panel provides several scenarios for doctors to consider when thinking about simplifying a patient's regimen. The panel takes a broad view of simplification -- this can mean anything from taking fewer doses to enhancing tolerability to reducing food and water requirements needed by some regimens. Simplifying therapy can help to improve the quality of life of some patients. Studies have found that simpler regimens are associated with better adherence.
According to the panel, patients who are taking their first regimen and who do not have a history of treatment failure are ideal candidates for regimen simplification.
In selected cases, the panel notes that even people with previous documented or suspected drug resistance may be appropriate candidates for simplification provided that their current regimens are fully suppressive.
The panel provides detailed scenarios in which simplification may occur. It also offers tips for helping to make a smooth transition in order to ensure that the new regimen is working. One of the most important points made by the panel is that close monitoring for the first two to six weeks after simplifying a regimen is needed to ensure tolerability of the new regimen as well as to ensure viral and immunologic response to therapy.
This article was provided by Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange. It is a part of the publication TreatmentUpdate. Visit CATIE's Web site to find out more about their activities, publications and services.