Nevirapine (Viramune)

Published January 25, 2001; Updated March 2013
Susa Coffey, MD
http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite?page=ar-02-01
Selected Reference
11. Knobel  H, Miró  JM, Domingo  P, Rivero  A, Márquez  M, Force  L, González  A, De Miguel  V, Sanz  J, Boix  V, Blanco  JL, Locutura  J; GESIDA 09/99 Study Group.
Failure of a short-term prednisone regimen to prevent nevirapine-associated rash: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial: the GESIDA 09/99 study. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2001 Sep;28(1):14-8
[PubMed ID: 11579272]
Abstract:
OBJECTIVES: Rash is the most frequent adverse event associated with nevirapine. The use of prednisone has been controversial in this setting. A double-blind placebo-controlled study was performed to evaluate its efficacy in nevirapine-induced rash prevention. DESIGN: Multicentered, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial with prednisone (30 mg/day x 2 weeks). Inclusion criteria: HIV-1 infection; CD4 count >200 cells/mm3; plasma viral load (PVL) <5 log10 copies/ml; nevirapine (200 mg/day x 2 weeks, followed by 200 mg twice daily) plus stavudine and didanosine. Clinical follow-up was performed at 15, 30, and 60 days and thereafter every 2 months. RESULTS: In all, 75 evaluable patients were enrolled (39 prednisone/36 placebo). Median baseline CD4 + cell count was 390 cells/mm3 and PVL, 20,200 copies/ml. Overall, nine cases of rash (12.5%) were detected, seven (18%) in the prednisone group and two (5.5%) in the placebo group (odds ratio [OR], 3.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.65-29.3; p =.11). Incidence of moderate-to-severe rashes leading to nevirapine withdrawal was 13.5% (5 of 37) in the prednisone group and 3% (1 of 35) in the placebo group ( p =.2). Median time to rash in both groups was 16 days. Adverse events that motivated withdrawal of therapy appeared in 6 patients from the prednisone group (15.4%) and 3 from the placebo group (8.3%) ( p =.3). CONCLUSION: Short-term prednisone administration does not prevent nevirapine rash, but might even increase its incidence.