The impact of enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs on antiretroviral drug levels: A case-control study

Jason F. Okulicz*, Greg A. Grandits, Jacqueline A. French, Emilio Perucca, Jomy M. George, Michael L. Landrum, Edward P. Acosta, Gretchen L. Birbeck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the impact of enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs (EI-AEDs) on serum antiretroviral (ARV) levels in patients with HIV. Methods: Data from the U.S. Military HIV Natural History Study were screened to identify participants taking ARVs with EI-AEDs and controls taking ARVs with non enzyme-inducing AEDs (NEI-AEDs). The proportion of serum ARV levels below the recommended minimum concentrations (Cmin) was compared between these groups. Results: ARV levels were available for 10 individuals exposed to 16 intervals on combined ARVs/EI-AEDs (phenytoin and carbamazepine) and for 25 controls exposed to 30 overlap intervals on combined ARVs/NEI-AEDs. The percentage of overlap intervals with ≥1 ARV levels below Cmin was higher in the EI-AED group than in controls (37.5% vs. 23.3%; p=0.124). After excluding intervals associated with serum levels of EI-AEDs below the reference range (n=6), the proportion of intervals with ≥1 ARV level below Cmin was significantly greater among EI-AED recipients (60%) compared to controls (23.3%; p=0.008). Conclusions: ARV levels below Cmin were more common in participants receiving EI-AEDs, the difference being statistically significant for intervals associated with EI-AED levels within the reference range. These data suggest that, in agreement with current guidelines, EI-AEDs should be avoided in patients receiving ARV therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • Drug interactions
  • Drug resistence
  • Epilepsy
  • Pharmacokinetics


Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs on antiretroviral drug levels: A case-control study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this