Purpose of review: In this review we will discuss recent findings on the use of inhibitors of the HIV-1 integrase enzyme for the treatment of antiretroviral naive patients. We will also discuss differences between integrase inhibitors, and comment on the use of this class of drugs in the future.
Recent findings: Raltegravir when taken twice daily is as effective and well tolerated as efavirenz. Once daily dosing of raltegravir is virologically inferior to raltegravir taken twice daily. A novel nucleoside-free regimen of raltegravir in combination with a once daily ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor did not produce adequate viral suppression, although raltegravir with a twice daily protease inhibitor yielded better results. Subset analyses have demonstrated a favorable impact of raltegravir on lipid levels and body fat composition. Two once daily integrase inhibitors not yet Food and Drug Administration-approved, elvitegravir and dolutegravir, have completed phase-2 testing and are also virologically noninferior to efavirenz.
Summary: Integrase inhibitors provide potent antiretroviral activity, little short-term toxicity and excellent tolerability. For patients with preexisting atherosclerosis or cardiac risk factors this class of therapy is a logical preferred treatment choice. Raltegravir is a preferred option for those in whom therapy for hepatitis C virus infection is anticipated.