n Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - Guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis and management of NRTI-associated symptomatic hyperlactataemia and lactic acidosis

Volume 2006, Issue 22
  • ISSN : 1608-9693
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6751



Expanding access to antiretrovirals (ARVs) in southern Africa has dramatically impacted on the lives of those HIV-infected people who are able to obtain these drugs. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has been shown to significantly reduce HIV-related morbidity and mortality in developed and developing world settings. However, ARVs, like most pharmaceutical agents, can result in side-effects and toxicities that in some instances may be life-threatening, especially if there is delay in their recognition. <BR>One of the most challenging and dangerous side-effects is symptomatic hyperlactataemia that may evolve to lactic acidosis, a toxicity that may result from treatment with the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). The first cases were described in the late 1980s, with fatalities being described in 1993.

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