Total daily pill burden in HIV-infected patients in the southern United States.

Zhou S, Martin K, Corbett A, Napravnik S, Eron J, Zhu Y, Casciere B, Boulton C, Loy B, Smith S, Woods A, Murray M, Ramsdell L, Wohl DA.

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2014 Jun;28(6):311-7. doi: 10.1089/apc.2014.0010.

The need for antiretroviral therapy coupled with treatment of chronic co-morbidities places HIV-infected patients at risk for polypharmacy. However, few studies have described overall pill burden among HIV-infected patients. HIV-infected outpatients of the UNC Infectious Diseases Clinic were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Subjects were contacted prior to a scheduled appointment and asked to bring all their medications to the visit. Daily total pill burden and medication type were recorded. 151 subjects were recruited: 76% male, 58% African American, 97% receiving antiretrovirals (ARVs). Median age was 48 (IRQ: 42-54) years. The median number of medications per subject was 8 (IQR: 6-11), and the median individual daily pill burden was 8 pills (IQR: 5-15): 3 pills (range: 2-5) for ARVs and 6 (range: 3-12.5) pills for non-ARVs. Duration of ART (per 2 years increase) and more than 3 co-morbidities was significantly associated with high pill burden (over 10 pills per day) with adjusted OR of 2.09 (95% CI, 1.14-3.84) and 8.04 (95% CI, 2.30-28.15), respectively. As patients with HIV age, strategies to reduce pill burden and number of medications will become increasingly critical to maintaining adherence, preventing medication errors, and serious drug-drug interactions.

PMID: 24901464

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.