The longest-term data on Isentress to date, presented at IDSA, show better virologic (viral load) and immunologic (T-cell count) results than Sustiva, out to 192 weeks (nearly four years).
STARTMRK is a non-inferiority study, but was able to demonstrate virologic superiority over Sustiva at 192 weeks based on pre-specified data standards.
At 192 weeks, 76.2% of the 281 people on Isentress vs. 67% of the 282 individuals taking Sustiva had undetectable viral load of less than 50 copies per mL. The Isentress group also saw a greater increase in their CD4+ T-cell counts, 361 vs. 301 for those on Sustiva.
Isentress was also more tolerable, with 50% of the people taking it experiencing a "drug-related clinical adverse event" compared to 80% of those taking Sustiva. Discontinuations due to adverse events were also lower with Isentress: 5% vs. 8.2% for Sustiva. In terms of what's called "serious adverse events," there was a similar rate: 17.8% for Isentress and 18.4% for Sustiva.
Isentress, like Sustiva, is one of the medications recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services HIV treatment guidelines for people taking antiviral therapy for the first time.
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