Using crushed Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) tablets leads to reduced levels of the drug in the blood of HIV-positive children, US research shows.
Kaletra, a boosted protease inhibitor, is available in a paediatric tablet containing 100mg lopinavir and 25mg ritonavir.
However, some children have difficulty swallowing tablets, and crushing or breaking the tablets can make them easier to take.
But researchers found that children treated with crushed Kaletra had levels of the drug in their blood reduced by up to 40%. This could mean that HIV treatment fails to suppress viral load, possibly leading to resistance.
The researchers conclude: “Increased doses and therapeutic drug monitoring are needed to ensure adequate lopinavir/ritonavir exposure in patients requiring crushed Kaletra tablets. The reduced exposure with crushed Kaletra tablet dosing reinforces the need to discourage this dosing practice.”
Taken from HIV Weekly, 28 September, 2011