Tenofovir and Baby Size: The New Fact


 

Infants born to women who used the anti-HIV drug tenofovir as part of an anti-HIV drug regimen during pregnancy do not weigh less at birth and are not of shorter length than infants born to women who used anti-HIV drug regimens that do not include tenofovir during pregnancy, according to findings from a National Institute of Health network study. However, at 1 year of age, babies born to the tenofovir-treated mothers were slightly shorter and had slightly smaller head circumference - about 1 centimeter each, on average - than were infants whose mothers did not take tenofovir.

The study authors described the findings as reassuring, noting that the study did not identify any serious safety concerns during pregnancy for tenofovir. In combination with other anti-HIV drugs, tenofovir is the first line of treatment for adults with HIV. The researchers called for additional studies to follow the children as they grow and develop, to identify any potential long term effects of the treatment.

The study was undertaken because earlier studies had shown laboratory animals exposed to tenofovir in the womb were smaller at birth than were their unexposed peers. Because   of   its   safety and effectiveness, many women who have HIV take the drug for their health, often before they become pregnant.

Similarly, because the drug is so effective for adult use and because there have been no problems reported in human infants related to their mother's use of tenofovir, many physicians will prescribe it for pregnant women, both to safeguard the women's health and to prevent the virus from being passed on to their infants. However, before the current research, the drug had not been specifically studied for its potential effects on infants whose mothers took it during pregnancy.

Credit: Saturday Punch

 


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