DOI: 10.3390/diseases12010003 ISSN: 2079-9721

Assessment of Gastrointestinal Adverse Effects during the First Six Months of “Biktarvy” Antiretroviral Therapy: Age-Related Patterns and Their Relation with Changes of 5 kg Weight Loss/Gain in the Initial Treatment Period

Madalina-Ianca Suba, Simona-Alina Abu-Awwad, Ovidiu Rosca, Mirela-Mădălina Turaiche, Bogdan Hogea, Ahmed Abu-Awwad, Razvan Nitu, Voichita Elena Lazureanu
  • General Medicine

Background: The battle against HIV has led to the development of antiretroviral therapy (ART), including BIKTARVY®, which combines three potent agents. However, concerns about gastrointestinal side effects during the early phases of treatment have emerged, potentially impacting patient adherence and outcomes. Materials and Methods: This retrospective cohort study, conducted over four years in Romania, examined 222 patients initiated on BIKTARVY® therapy. Data were collected from electronic medical records, and stringent inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied to ensure data accuracy and relevance. Statistical analysis was performed to assess age-related patterns in gastrointestinal symptoms and their relation with significant weight loss. Results: This study revealed significant differences in the prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms between age groups, with older patients experiencing more symptoms. Notably, diarrhea did not exhibit a statistically significant age-related difference. Furthermore, weight loss exceeding 5 kg was more common in older patients. Of the patients who continued BIKTARVY® therapy, 84.9% showed an increase in CD4 cell counts, and most expressed satisfaction with treatment. Conclusion: Understanding age-related patterns and gastrointestinal side effects of BIKTARVY® is crucial for optimizing HIV patient care. Future research should aim to corroborate and expand upon these findings, potentially leading to improved therapeutic approaches in the ongoing fight against HIV.

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