Directly Observed Therapy for the Management of HIV--Infected Patients in a Methadone Program

Conway, Brian; Prasad, Jennie; Reynolds, Robert; Farley, John; Jones, Michelle; Jutha, Salima; Smith, Nadine; Mead, Annabel; Devlaming, Stanley
June 2004
Clinical Infectious Diseases;6/1/2004 Supplement, Vol. 38, pS402
Academic Journal
The objective of this prospective, observational clinical study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of once-daily and twice-daily directly observed therapy (DOT) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients undergoing methadone treatment. Methadone and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) were dispensed daily as DOT, with patients in the twice-daily HAART group self-administering the second dose. Clinical and laboratory end points were monitored, along with the impact of ongoing cocaine use. We studied 54 patients coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus. At baseline, the median virus load was 111,000 copies/ mL, and the median CD4+ cell count was 165 cells/mm33. After a median of 24 months, 17 of 29 patients in the once-daily HAART group and 18 of 25 in the twice-daily HAART group had virus loads of <400 copies/mL, regardless of ongoing cocaine use. Thirty-two patients required methadone dose adjustment, which was managed without modification of HAART. Treatment-limiting hepatic toxicity was rare. A DOT program of coadministered methadone and HAART can be implemented with good results, even for patients who continue to use cocaine.


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