Stavudine (Zerit)

Published January 25, 2001; Updated February 2013
Susa Coffey, MD
Selected References
3. Saag  MS, Cahn  P, Raffi  F, Wolff  M, Pearce  D, Molina  JM, Powderly  W, Shaw  AL, Mondou  E, Hinkle  J, Borroto-Esoda  K, Quinn  JB, Barry  DW, Rousseau  F; FTC-301A Study Team.
Efficacy and safety of emtricitabine vs stavudine in combination therapy in antiretroviral-naive patients: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2004 Jul;292(2):180-9
[PubMed ID: 15249567]
CONTEXT: Emtricitabine is a new, once-daily nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) with potent activity against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy and safety of emtricitabine as compared with stavudine when used with a background regimen of didanosine and efavirenz. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS: Randomized, double-blind, double-dummy study conducted at 101 research clinics in North America, Latin America, and Europe. The first patient was enrolled on August 21, 2000; no investigator or patient was unblinded until the last patient randomized completed the week 48 visit on October 24, 2002. Analyses were based on data collected in a double-blind setting with a median follow-up of 60 weeks. Patients were 571 antiretroviral-naive, HIV-1-infected adults aged 18 years or older with viral load levels greater than or equal to 5000 copies/mL. INTERVENTIONS: Receipt of either 200 mg of emtricitabine once daily (plus stavudine placebo twice daily) (n = 286) or stavudine at standard doses twice daily (plus emtricitabine placebo once daily) (n = 285) plus open-label didanosine and efavirenz, once daily. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Persistent virological response, defined as achieving and maintaining viral load at or below the limit of assay quantification (< or =400 or 50 copies/mL). RESULTS: At the interim analysis on June 14, 2002, when the last patient randomized completed 24 weeks of double-blind treatment (median follow-up time of 42 weeks), patients in the emtricitabine group had a higher probability of a persistent virological response < or =50 copies/mL vs the stavudine group (85% vs 76%, P =.005). This was associated with a higher mean CD4 cell count change from baseline for the emtricitabine group (156 cells/ microL vs 119 cells/microL, P =.01 [of note, there was no statistical difference at 48 weeks [P =.15], although a sensitivity analysis, using an intent-to-treat population with the last CD4 cell count observation carried forward to week 48 showed a difference [P =.02]]). The independent data and safety monitoring board recommended offering open-label emtricitabine based on the interim analysis. The probability of persistent virological response < or =50 copies/mL through week 60 was 76% for the emtricitabine group vs 54% for the stavudine group (P<.001). The probability of virological failure through week 60 was 4% in the emtricitabine group and 12% in the stavudine group (P<.001). Patients in the stavudine group had a greater probability of an adverse event that led to study drug discontinuation through week 60 than did those in the emtricitabine group (15% vs 7%, P =.005). CONCLUSION: Once-daily emtricitabine appeared to demonstrate greater virological efficacy, durability of response, and tolerability compared with twice-daily stavudine when used with once-daily didanosine and efavirenz.
6. Boubaker  K, Flepp  M, Sudre  P, Furrer  H, Haensel  A, Hirschel  B, Boggian  K, Chave  JP, Bernasconi  E, Egger  M, Opravil  M, Rickenbach  M, Francioli  P, Telenti  A.
Hyperlactatemia and antiretroviral therapy: the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Dec;33(11):1931-7
[PubMed ID: 11692306]
The prevalence, clinical presentation, and risk factors for hyperlactatemia among patients receiving antiretroviral therapy was determined during a 1-month period for patients in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. Overall, 73 (8.3%) of 880 patients presented an increase in serum lactate of >1.1 times the upper normal limit (UNL). For 9 patients (1%), lactate elevation was moderate or severe (>2.2 times the UNL). Patients who presented with hyperlactatemia were more likely to be receiving stavudine with or without didanosine (odds ratio, 2.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.5-4.8), as compared with patients who received zidovudine-based regimens. The risk increased with increasing time receiving stavudine with or without didanosine. The association between hyperlactatemia and stavudine with or without didanosine was not biased by these medications being more recently available and, therefore, being given preferentially to patients who had prolonged use of nucleoside analog reverse-transcriptase inhibitors. Hyperlactatemia was associated with lipoatrophy, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia. Age, sex, or stage of infection with human immunodeficiency virus were not predictive of hyperlactatemia. Determination of lactate levels may prove useful in the screening for mitochondrial toxicity.
7. Robbins  GK, De Gruttola  V, Shafer  RW, Smeaton  LM, Snyder  SW, Pettinelli  C, Dubé  MP, Fischl  MA, Pollard  RB, Delapenha  R, Gedeon  L, van der Horst  C, Murphy  RL, Becker  MI, D'Aquila  RT, Vella  S, Merigan  TC, Hirsch  MS; AIDS Clinical Trials Group 384 Team.
Comparison of sequential three-drug regimens as initial therapy for HIV-1 infection. N Engl J Med. 2003 Dec;349(24):2293-303
[PubMed ID: 14668455]
BACKGROUND: The optimal sequencing of antiretroviral regimens for the treatment of infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is unknown. We compared several different antiretroviral treatment strategies. METHODS: This multicenter, randomized, partially double-blind trial used a factorial design to compare pairs of sequential three-drug regimens, starting with a regimen including zidovudine and lamivudine or a regimen including didanosine and stavudine in combination with either nelfinavir or efavirenz. The primary end point was the length of time to the failure of the second three-drug regimen. RESULTS: A total of 620 subjects who had not previously received antiretroviral therapy were followed for a median of 2.3 years. Starting with a three-drug regimen containing efavirenz combined with zidovudine and lamivudine (but not efavirenz combined with didanosine and stavudine) appeared to delay the failure of the second regimen, as compared with starting with a regimen containing nelfinavir (hazard ratio for failure of the second regimen, 0.71; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.48 to 1.06), as well as to delay the second virologic failure (hazard ratio, 0.56; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.29 to 1.09), and significantly delayed the failure of the first regimen (hazard ratio, 0.39) and the first virologic failure (hazard ratio, 0.34). Starting with zidovudine and lamivudine combined with efavirenz (but not zidovudine and lamivudine combined with nelfinavir) appeared to delay the failure of the second regimen, as compared with starting with didanosine and stavudine (hazard ratio, 0.68), and significantly delayed both the first and the second virologic failures (hazard ratio for the first virologic failure, 0.39; hazard ratio for the second virologic failure, 0.47), as well as the failure of the first regimen (hazard ratio, 0.35). The initial use of zidovudine, lamivudine, and efavirenz resulted in a shorter time to viral suppression. CONCLUSIONS: The efficacy of antiretroviral drugs depends on how they are combined. The combination of zidovudine, lamivudine, and efavirenz is superior to the other antiretroviral regimens used as initial therapy in this study.
8. ZERIT (stavudine) package insert, Bristol-Myers Squibb Virology.