Safety and pharmacokinetic profiles of long-acting injectable antiretroviral drugs for HIV-1 pre-exposure prophylaxis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials


Objectives: To investigate the safety and pharmacokinetic profiles of long-acting injectable pre-exposure prophylaxis (LAI PrEP), notably cabotegravir (CAB-LA) and rilpivirine (RPV-LA), for the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection. Methods: Eligible randomized trials of LAI PrEP in HIV-uninfected and/or healthy patients were included and assessed with the Revised Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials. Where feasible, a meta-analysis was performed for safety outcomes by using a random-effects model with risk ratios and their 95% confidence intervals as the common effect measure. The protocol was registered with PROSPERO CRD42020154772. Results: Eight studies cumulating a total of 666 participants were included in this systematic review, including five (362 intervention-arm volunteers) and four trials (194 intervention-arm volunteers) that investigated CAB-LA and RPV-LA, respectively. We found that both CAB-LA and RPV-LA were generally well-tolerated as their safety profiles were similar to placebo in terms of any adverse event (AE), serious AE, and AE-related withdrawals. Furthermore, pharmacokinetic analyses revealed favorable prospects in viral inhibitory activity of CAB-LA and RPV-LA. Intramuscular (IM) injection of CAB-LA
600 mg Q8W was superior to CAB-LA 800 mg Q12W in male participants, while the same was true for RPV-LA 1200 mg IM Q8W over other dosing regimens. Although these results are promising, further research is required to confirm the findings on RPV-LA as current evidence is limited. Conclusion: CAB-LA and RPV-LA have promising safety and pharmacokinetic profiles. The preventive efficacy of these agents is being evaluated in Phase 3 trials.


Lazarus G, Wangsaputra VK, Christianto, Louisa M, Soetikno V, Hamers RL




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions


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