In the Running
by Laura Whitehorn
New drugs and whole new class wowed in the 2007 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). Here’s news to use, of meds new and old:
- More than ten years after the discovery that HIV is best treated by combining several different drug classes, a new med class—integrase inhibitors, hereby christenedinnies—joins the treatment arsenal of nukes, non-nukes, protease inhibitors (PIs) and entry inhibitors (EIs). Integrase inhibitors stop HIV from packing its DNA into immune cell genes. Closest to an FDA OK—possibly later this year—is Merck’s Isentress (MK-0518) currently available through expanded access.
- Maraviroc, Pfizer’s entry inhibitor pill, should hit pharmacies by fall.
- Fosamax (aka alendronate), a drug that slows bone thinning, works safely for positive people (many of whom experience osteoporosis and osteopenia). Taking Fosamax plus calcium and vitamin D fortifies bone density betterthan calcium and D alone.