Combined therapy using reverse transcriptase (RT) and protease inhibitors is the current established treatment for HIV-1 infection. Foscarnet is an RT inhibitor that is a product analogue, in contrast to the widely used nucleoside analogues. In this study, the anti-HIV-1 effect of foscarnet, 50 mg three times per day administered intravenously for 4 weeks, was evaluated in 10 patients with minor or no symptoms. Serious adverse events developed in 2 patients, although most patients experienced some side effects. The levels of HIV-1 RNA decreased from a median value of 4.7 to 2.6 10log copies/ml. The effect was sustained through 4 weeks. One week after cessation of treatment, HIV-1 RNA levels increased to baseline. In contrast, no increase in the number of CD4+ cells was observed. The anti-HIV-1 effect was considered to be a direct effect on HIV-1 replication because no patient had concomitant cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Bengt Jacobsson, Department of Infectious Diseases, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge Hospital, S-141 86 Huddinge, Sweden.
Manuscript received March 7, 1997; accepted November 24, 1997.
© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.