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Cobicistat: A New Boost for the Treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

Authors

  • Bhavik M. Shah,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pharmacy Practice, Jefferson School of Pharmacy, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • For questions or comments, contact Bhavik M. Shah, Jefferson School of Pharmacy, 901 Walnut Street, Suite 901, Philadelphia, PA 19107; e-mail: bhavik.shah@jefferson.edu.

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  • Jason J. Schafer,

    1. Department of Pharmacy Practice, Jefferson School of Pharmacy, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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  • James Priano,

    1. Jefferson School of Pharmacy, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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  • Kathleen E. Squires

    1. Division of Infectious Diseases, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Abstract

Ritonavir is commonly used as a pharmacokinetic booster for antiretroviral regimens in the management of human immunodeficiency virus infections. Limitations to ritonavir boosting include increased pill burden, adverse effects, and a wide range of clinically significant drug-drug interactions. Cobicistat is a new pharmacokinetic booster that is a selective inhibitor of cytochrome P450 3A, the main metabolizing pathway of several antiretrovirals. Cobicistat has been studied as a booster for elvitegravir, a second-generation integrase inhibitor, and protease inhibitors. Based on successful clinical trials, a new single-tablet regimen of elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir has been approved for the management of treatment-naïve patients. Additional studies are underway investigating the safety and efficacy of cobicistat-boosted protease inhibitor regimens for both treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients. Cobicistat is well tolerated and may become a preferred booster for antiretroviral regimens, as it can be coformulated with several agents to create simpler regimens.

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