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International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
Revised June 7, 2016

Fact Sheet 470

Combination Medications


WHAT ARE COMBINATION MEDICATIONS?
PK BOOSTERS

1. COMBINATIONS OF REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE INHIBITORS ("NUKES")
2. COMBINATIONS OF A NON-NUCLEOSIDE REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE INHIBITOR AND REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE INHIBITORS
3. COMBINATIONS WITH PROTEASE INHIBITORS
4. COMBINATIONS WITH INTEGRASE INHIBITORS

 


WHAT ARE COMBINATION MEDICATIONS?

Combination medications are pills or tablets that contain more than one medication to fight HIV. They are listed in the tables below. Pharmaceutical companies have been working hard to make their medications easier to take. Part of this effort has been to combine more than one medication in a single pill. These combinations are referred to as fixed-dose combinations, or FDCs.

The first FDC to treat HIV was Combivir by ViiV Healthcare*. Combivir contains two nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors. This was followed by Trizivir, also by ViiV Healthcare, which includes 3 nukes.  Some antiviral products are only available outside the US through the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR.) For more information, see fact sheet 925 or http://www.pepfar.gov.

Be sure that you do not take a combination medication along with any of its components! For example, do not take Truvada with tenofovir (Viread) or emtricitabine (Emtriva); do not take Combivir along with zidovudine (Retrovir) or lamivudine (Epivir.)

 


WHAT ARE PK BOOSTERS?

When some medications are taken by mouth, their levels in the blood are very low. For them to fight HIV, they have to be taken at high doses. Another possibility is to "boost" their blood levels. This is done by slowing down the processing (metabolism) of these drugs. A drug that slows down the metabolism is called a "PK booster." PK stands for pharmacokinetic. This refers to the way that medications are processed by the body.

The first PK booster used in HIV was ritonavir by Abbott. Ritonavir slows down the metabolism of many drugs by the liver. This increases the blood levels of some anti-HIV medications so that a lower dose can be taken. However, it can also increase blood levels of many other drugs. In some cases, this can cause a harmful overdose.

A second FDA-approved PK booster is cobicistat (GS-9350), made by Gilead Sciences.

 


1. COMBINATIONS OF REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE INHIBITORS ("NUKES")

Year
Approved
Generic Name Trade Name Also known as: Manufacturer
1997 Zidovudine/lamivudine Combivir AZT or ZDV, 3TC ViiV Healthcare &
generic
2000 Zidovudine/lamivudine/abacavir Trizivir AZT or ZDV, 3TC, ABC ViiV Healthcare &
generic
2004 Abacavir/lamivudine Epzicom ABC, 3TC ViiV Healthcare &
generic
2004 Emtricitabine/tenofovir Truvada Emtriva and Viread Gilead Sciences &
generic
2016 Emtricitabine/tenofovir AF Descovy FTC/TAF Gilead Sciences

 

At present, the following combinations are only available outside the US due to patent protections for the original developers

2007     Lamivudine/stavudine                   3TC, d4T             Generic         
2008 Lamivudine/tenofovir   3TC, TDF Generic

 


2. COMBINATIONS OF A NON-NUCLEOSIDE REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE INHIBITOR AND REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE INHIBITORS

Year
Approved*
Generic Name Trade Name Also known as: Manufacturer
2006 Efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir Atripla EFV, Emtrive, & TDF Bristol-Myers Squibb
and Gilead
2011 Emitricitabine/rilpivirine/tenofovir Complera Emtriva, Edurant and
Viread
Gilead and Janssen
2016 Emtricitabine/rilpivirine/tenofovir AF Odefsey Emtriva, Edurant and
TAF
Gilead and Tibotec


At present, the following combinations are only available outside the US due to patent protections for the original developers

2005            Nevirapine/zidovudine/lamivudine   Duovir              NVP, AZT or ZDV, 3TC Generic                        
2006 Efavirenz/zidovudine/lamivudine   EFV, AZT or ZDV, 3TC Generic
2006 Nevirapine/lamivudine/stavudine Triomune NVP, 3TC, d4T Generic
2006 Efavirenz/lamivudine/stavudine   EFV, 3TC, d4T Generic

 


3. COMBINATIONS OF PROTEASE INHIBITORS (NOTE: a small dose of ritonavir is used to boost blood levels of other protease inhibitors. The amount of ritonavir is not high enough to fight HIV.)

Year* Generic Name Trade Name Also known as: Manufacturer
2000 Lopinavir/ritonavir Kaletra, Aluvia LPV/r Abbott & generic
2015 Darunavir/cobicistat Prezcobix DRV/c Janssen & Gilead

 


4. COMBINATIONS WITH INTEGRASE INHIBITORS

(Note: a small dose of ritonavir or cobicistat is used to boost blood levels of the integrase inhibitor.)

Year Generic Name Trade Name Also known as: Manufacturer
2012 Elvitegravir/cobicisat/emtricitabine/tenofovir Stribild Quad Gilead Sciences
2014 Abacavir/dolutegravir/lamivudine Triumeq ABC/3TC/DTG ViiV Healthcare
2015 Elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir AF Genvoya E/C/F/TAF Gilead Sciences

 


NOTE: There are many combination medications approved as part of the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. For more information, see http://www.fda.gov/oia/pepfar.htm 


 

 


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