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PITTSBURGH, Oct. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL) today announced the U.S.
The risks of birth defects in children exposed to antiretroviral drugs in utero are small when considering the clear benefit of preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV but where there are safe and effective alternatives, it might be appropriate to avoid use by pregnant women of drugs that may be associated with elevated risks of birth defects, such as zidovudine and efavirenz.
Researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Perelman School of Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania, along with colleagues at the Botswana-Baylor Children's Clinical Centre of Excellence, conducted the first large-scale comparison of first-line treatments for HIV-positive children, finding that initial treatment with efavirenz was more effective than nevirapine in suppressing the virus in children ages 3 to 16.
A combination of anti-HIV drugs has been found to also reduce the risk of recurrent malaria by nearly half among HIV-positive children.
About 0.2% of pregnant women are HIV positive and 1/3 will pass the virus to their baby before it is born if no treatment is given.
Non-breastfed babies born to HIV-positive mothers who didn't receive antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy are routinely given zidovudine, commonly known as AZT, shortly after birth to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus that causes AIDS.
Adding the drug nevirapine to the regimen given to newborns of women diagnosed with HIV shortly before or during labor halves the newborns' risk of contracting the virus.