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Treating malaria in HIV-coinfected individuals should consider potential drug-drug interactions. Artemether-lumefantrine is the most widely recommended treatment for uncomplicated malaria globally. Lumefantrine is metabolized by CYP3A4, an enzyme that commonly used antiretrovirals often induce or inhibit. A population pharmacokinetic meta-analysis was conducted using individual participant data from 10 studies with 6,100 lumefantrine concentrations from 793 nonpregnant adult participants (41% HIV-malaria-coinfected, 36% malaria-infected, 20% HIV-infected, and 3% healthy volunteers). Lumefantrine exposure increased 3.4-fold with coadministration of lopinavir-ritonavir-based antiretroviral therapy (ART), while it decreased by 47% with efavirenz-based ART and by 59% in the patients with rifampin-based antituberculosis treatment. Nevirapine- or dolutegravir-based ART and malaria or HIV infection were not associated with significant effects. Monte Carlo simulations showed that those on concomitant efavirenz or rifampin have 49% and 80% probability of day 7 concentrations <200 ng/ml, respectively, a threshold associated with an increased risk of treatment failure. The risk of achieving subtherapeutic concentrations increases with larger body weight. An extended 5-day and 6-day artemether-lumefantrine regimen is predicted to overcome these drug-drug interactions with efavirenz and rifampin, respectively.

Original publication





Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy

Publication Date





Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.


Humans, HIV Infections, Malaria, Body Weight, Ritonavir, Antimalarials, Anti-HIV Agents, Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active, Monte Carlo Method, Drug Interactions, Computer Simulation, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Young Adult, Lopinavir, Artemether, Lumefantrine Drug Combination, Lumefantrine