Fetal Efavirenz Exposure Linked To Microcephaly

by Prachee published on -

 Likes  Comments

Antiretroviral treatments are an effective way of protecting babies against HIV transmission from mothers. However, a new study has highlighted the intense side-effects possible with the ART drug efavirenz, which may include microcephaly.

This new research article published in The Lancet HIV journal found that the use of efavirenz by pregnant women might lead to an increased risk of microcephaly for the infant. In turn, kids with microcephaly were at a higher risk for developmental delays as compared to kids with normal head size.

These conclusions were drawn for the drug efavirenz and not for any other drugs used as a part of the antiretroviral therapy, used to help people living with HIV infections and reduce the risk of HIV transmission.

“Our findings underline the importance of having alternatives to combination therapy with efavirenz for pregnant women with HIV,” said study author Rohan Hazra, M.D., chief of the Maternal and Pediatric Infectious Disease Branch of NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which provided funding for the study.

red aids ribbon help carefully by two pairs of hands

Microcephaly is a condition where the circumference of the head of a child is smaller than the expected size, usually due to abnormal brain development. The team of researchers analyzed the data from a follow-up study of over 30,000 infants born to women on HIV therapy during pregnancy. The head growth of these children was measured and further classified and ranked using the Nellhaus Charts.

Known side effects of efavirenz, commonly available under the brand name ‘Sustiva’, include mental health problems, liver problems, and potential risk of birth defects when taken by pregnant women.

DMCA.com Protection Status
Last updated -
About the Author

Prachee is a content writer for Organic Facts and is responsible for writing on the latest wellness trends. A former Journalism & Media teacher, she prides herself on being able to seamlessly dabble between health, science, and technology. She has completed her Masters in Communication Studies from the University of Pune, India as well as an online course on “Introduction to Food and Health” from Stanford University, US. Prachee fancies herself to be a poet and a cook when the rare lightning of inspiration strikes.

Rate this article
Average rating 0.0 out of 5.0 based on 0 user(s).

Latest Health News:

A woman clinician injecting a young girl.

Increase Screening Of Asymptomatic People For COVID Control

With the coronavirus pandemic showing signs of slowing down, there is an increased need for precaution to ensure that it does not flare up again. New research,…

READ MORE
Group of wood figurines huddled together with one figure outside the group.

Pandemics, Epidemics Can Worsen Social Prejudices

A time of crisis can exacerbate our social prejudices, particularly bigotry and xenophobia. A study, published in the journal Proceedings of The Royal Society,…

READ MORE
Graphic of the human brain

Research Reveals How Memory Works

Why do our memories not get muddled with other new events? Why are they long-lasting? Researchers from the University of Bristol may have found answers to…

READ MORE