Pregnant HIV positive women warned of new HIV drug

The drug has been linked to birth defects in pregnant women.

The drug, shortly known as DTG, has reportedly been linked to birth defects in HIV positive women.

The Director of Medical Services, Jackson Kioko in June 2017, had signed off on the use of DTG as an “alternative for people with HIV and who were intolerant to the drug Efavirenz, people who inject drugs and are on anti-retroviral therapy or new patients in the same category”.

As per the new directive, all county directors are expected to ensure that pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers that have been prescribed with DTG finish their prescription until they stop breastfeeding.

“The ministry encourages all healthcare providers to be vigilant in identification and reporting of adverse drug reactions related to ARVs,” he told the Daily Nation.

For women prescribed with the drug and within the ages of 15 and 49 years, they are instead to be prescribed with Efavirenz.

Defects in babies

Women taking the drug during their first trimester were said to be at higher risk of giving birth to babies with neural tube defects.

This is according to the US Food and Drugs Administration and the European Medicines Agency last month.

A neural tube defect can occur in the early stages of pregnancy when the spinal cord, brain other bodily structures do not form properly.

“Women of childbearing age who decide to take a dolutegravir-containing regimen should consistently use effective birth control (contraception) while on HIV treatment.”

You can read the full story here.

Source: Daily Nation

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