Effect of mid-dose efavirenz concentrations and CYP2B6 genotype on viral suppression in patients on first-line antiretroviral therapy

Catherine Orrell, Andrzej Bienczak, Karen Cohen, David Bangsberg, Robin Wood, Gary Maartens, Paolo Denti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The therapeutic range for efavirenz plasma concentrations is unclear and some studies found no correlation with viral non-suppression. Efavirenz concentrations are variable, driven in part by polymorphisms in CYP2B6. We hypothesised that efavirenz mid-dosing concentrations, together with CYP2B6 metaboliser genotype, could predict viral non-suppression. Participants starting first-line efavirenz-based antiretroviral therapy were monitored for 48 weeks. HIV-RNA and efavirenz mid-dose interval concentrations were determined at Weeks 16 and 48. CYP2B6 metaboliser genotype status was determined by 516G→T and 983T→C polymorphisms. Cox proportional hazards modelling was used to predict viral non-suppression and to determine the most predictive efavirenz mid-dosing concentration threshold. In total, 180 participants were included. Median efavirenz concentrations were 2.3 mg/L (IQR 1.6-4.6 mg/L) and 2.2 mg/L (IQR 1.5-3.9 mg/L) at Weeks 16 and 48, respectively. Moreover, 49 (27.2%), 84 (46.7%) and 39 (21.7%) participants had extensive, intermediate or slow CYP2B6 metaboliser genotype, respectively. Log2 efavirenz concentrations [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 0.77, 95% CI 0.67-0.89] and baseline CD4 cell count (aHR = 0.994, 95% CI 0.989-0.998), but not CYP2B6 genotype, were predictive of viral non-suppression. For every doubling of efavirenz concentration there was a 23% decrease in the hazard of non-suppression. A threshold of 0.7 mg/L was found to be the efavirenz mid-dosing concentration that was most predictive of non-suppression. Mid-dosing efavirenz concentrations are predictive of viral non-suppression, but the currently recommended lower therapeutic limit (1 mg/L) is higher than our finding. Knowledge of CYP2B6 metaboliser genotype is not required for prediction of virological outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-472
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • CYP2B6
  • Efavirenz
  • Pharmacogenetic
  • Pharmacokinetic
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring
  • Virological failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of mid-dose efavirenz concentrations and CYP2B6 genotype on viral suppression in patients on first-line antiretroviral therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this