Adefovir dipivoxil may be a safe option for treating children with chronic hepatitis B, according to recent study results published online.
Maureen M. Jonas, MD, and colleagues from Children’s Hospital in Boston conducted a 48-week study that tested adefovir dipivoxil (ADV; Hepsera, Gilead Sciences) treatment in 162 children with chronic hepatitis B. The researchers reported that ADV was discontinued in 61 children because of virologic failure.
Jonas and colleagues said children treated with ADV with or without lamivudine experienced continuing viral suppression and alanine aminotransferase normalization throughout the study period.
“This 4-year follow-up of that trial has provided additional data, albeit numbers of subjects receiving therapy with ADV substantially diminished over time,” the researchers said. “This was primarily due to treatment discontinuations for persistent viremia or for [hepatitis B “e” antigen] seroconversion.”
Although the data support the safety of adefovir dipivoxil for children with chronic hepatitis B, “clinicians who treat children with chronic HBV with nucleotide and/or nucleoside analogs must be mindful of the risk and long-term detrimental effects of viral resistance, and consider cessation of these agents if prompt viral suppression is not achieved,” the researchers wrote.
The investigators also urged testing of newer agents in this population of patients.
Disclosure: Dr. Jonas has received research funding from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences and Novartis, and has served as a consultant for Roche Pharmaceuticals. The study was funded by Gilead Sciences.