Quality of life in patients treated with first-line antiretroviral therapy containing nevirapine and/or efavirenz


OBJECTIVE: To assess whether differences in safety profiles between nevirapine (NVP) and efavirenz (EFV), as observed in the 2NN study, translated into differences in ‘health related quality of life’ (HRQoL). DESIGN: A sub-study of the 2NN study, with antiretroviral-naive patients randomly allocated to NVP (once or twice daily), EFV or NVP+EFV, in addition to stavudine and lamivudine. METHODS: Comparing differences in changes of HRQoL over 48 weeks as measured with the Medical Outcomes Study HIV Health Survey (MOS-HIV) questionnaire, using analysis of variance. RESULTS: The 2NN study enrolled 1216 patients. No validated questionnaires were available for 244 patients, and 55 patients had no HRQoL data at all, leaving 917 patients eligible for this sub-study. A total of 471 (51%) had HRQoL measurements both at baseline and week 48. The majority (69%) of patients without HRQoL measurements did, however, complete the study. The change in the physical health score (PHS) was 3.9 for NVP, 3.4 for EFV and 2.4 for NVP+EFV (P=0.712). For the mental health score (MHS) these values were 6.1, 7.0 and 3.9, respectively (P=0.098). A baseline plasma HIV-1 RNA concentration (pVL) textgreater or = 100,000 copies/ml and a decline in pVL (per log10) were independently associated with an increase of PHS. An increase of MHS was only associated with pVL decline. Patients experiencing an adverse event during follow-up had a comparable change in PHS but a significantly smaller change in MHS, compared with those without an adverse event. CONCLUSIONS: First-line ART containing NVP and/or EFV leads to an improvement in HRQoL. The gain in HRQoL was similar for NVP and EFV, but slightly lower for the combination of these drugs.

Antivir Ther