Switching Isentress to Once a Day Is Less Effective
Although the integrase inhibitor Isentress (raltegravir) is recommended for people going on treatment for the first time, it's the only first line drug that's taken twice, not once, a day. In an effort to simplify the dosing, a study compared taking Isentress twice a day vs. once a day.
Unfortunately, the 48-week results showed that fewer people who took Isentress once a day (83%) had undetectable viral loads below 50 copies compared to those who took it twice a day (89%). The reason for this is likely because the drug is quickly processed out of the body. Although this difference appears slight it was statistically significant, thereby showing once a day does not provide an equal level of HIV suppression that twice a day does, especially in people who started treatment at viral loads over 100,000.