Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

HIV/AIDS

Alcoholism drug could help eliminate dormant HIV

Disulfiram treatment can reactivate latent HIV, which could help eliminate the cells harbouring the virus, report finds.

Researchers report that disulfiram, molecular structure pictured), a drug used to treat alcoholism, can reactivate latent HIV. The findings represent a step towards eliminating latent HIV

Source: Shutterstock.com

Disulfiram, a drug used to treat alcoholism, reactivated dormant HIV in infected patients taking antiretroviral therapy

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) protects HIV patients from the worst effects of the disease, but it does not provide a cure. One major reason for this is HIV latency, where the virus lies dormant within the cells of the body. 

A study in The Lancet HIV (online, 6 November 2015)[1] found that that disulfiram — a drug used to treat alcoholism — can reactivate latent HIV. This could allow the elimination of cells harbouring the virus. 

In the study, 30 HIV patients who were also receiving ART were given disulfiram at three different doses. The researchers found significant increases in levels of HIV transcription and, in patients given the highest dose (2000 mg), in plasma HIV RNA. 

The team say the findings represent a step towards eliminating latent HIV, and further studies of long-term, high-dose disulfiram are warranted.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20200167

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Drugs of Abuse

    Drugs of Abuse

    A concise, easy-to-read guide for healthcare professionals who encounter drug abuse.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Adverse Drug Reactions

    Adverse Drug Reactions

    A practical guide to the drug reactions that affect particular organ systems, and the management of these reactions.

    £38.00Buy now
  • English Delftware Drug Jars

    English Delftware Drug Jars

    This beautiful book illustrates the art and history of the collection of English delftware drug jars in the Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

    £54.00Buy now
  • Paediatric Drug Handling

    Paediatric Drug Handling

    Written for new pharmaceutical scientists, this book provides a background in paediatric pharmacy and a comprehensive introduction to children's medication.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics covers all aspects of drug use in renal failure. Shows the role of the pharmacist in patient care for chronic kidney disease.

    £38.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Researchers report that disulfiram, molecular structure pictured), a drug used to treat alcoholism, can reactivate latent HIV. The findings represent a step towards eliminating latent HIV

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.