A review of pharmacological interactions between HIV or hepatitis C virus medications and opioid agonist therapy: Implications and management for clinical practice

R. Douglas Bruce, David E. Moody, Frederick L. Altice, Marc N. Gourevitch, Gerald H. Friedland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Global access to opioid agonist therapy and HIV/hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment is expanding but when used concurrently, problematic pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions may occur. Articles published from 1966 to 2012 in Medline were reviewed using the following keywords: HIV, AIDS, HIV therapy, HCV, HCV therapy, antiretroviral therapy, highly active antiretroviral therapy, drug interactions, methadone and buprenorphine. In addition, a review of abstracts from national and international meetings and conference proceedings was conducted; selected reports were reviewed as well. The metabolism of both opioid and antiretroviral therapies, description of their known interactions and clinical implications and management of these interactions were reviewed. Important pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic drug interactions affecting either methadone or HIV medications have been demonstrated within each class of antiretroviral agents. Drug interactions between methadone, buprenorphine and HIV medications are known and may have important clinical consequences. Clinicians must be alert to these interactions and have a basic knowledge regarding their management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-269
Number of pages21
JournalExpert Review of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2013



  • antiretroviral therapy
  • buprenorphine
  • drug interactions
  • drug metabolism
  • hepatitis C
  • methadone
  • pharmacodynamics
  • pharmacokinetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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