Mothers can share Nevirapine with children

By Henry Neondo

Dosing of children with fractions of adult fixed dose combination tablets that contain nevirapine can provide the appropriate nevirapine exposure for children of varying ages, a Thai study reports this month in the journal AIDS.

The lack of fixed dose antiretroviral combinations in suitable doses for children of different ages and/or weights has been a major obstacle in providing treatment for children with HIV, particularly in resource poor settings.

Although clinicians have tried to estimate how adult fixed dose tablets can be divided in order to provide appropriate paediatric dosing, there are few data to guide decision-making.

The picture has been further complicated by doubts among some researchers over the applicability of data derived from pharmacokinetic studies in adults, since younger children are known to metabolise drugs differently.

In particular it was feared that children might not receive adequate doses of nevirapine, leading quickly to high level drug resistance, if tablets were halved or quartered.

This fear arose because of suggestions that the drug may not be distributed evenly within tablets, and that division of adult tablets could result in uneven dosing.

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