HIV in Canada: A primer for service providers


Drug Interactions

Key Points

  • Prescription drugs, non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs, street drugs, herbal products and supplements can potentially cause drug interactions.
  • It is important that healthcare providers know about all the drugs or products a patient is taking to help avoid drug interactions.

A range of prescription drugs, non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs, street drugs and herbal products may cause interactions with antiretroviral therapy (ART). Some HIV drugs may also affect the effectiveness of various prescription drugs, over the counter drugs, and herbal products.

Healthcare providers need to know all the drugs – prescription, over-the-counter and street drugs – that people with HIV are using, as well as any herbs and supplements, to advise them about avoiding drug interactions. The routine inclusion by the physician of non-judgemental questions about the use of any other drugs, herbs or supplements in the patient consultation may be a simple method of encouraging such disclosure. Pharmacists also play an important role in avoiding drug interactions.


HIV/HCV Drug Therapy Guide – Toronto General Hospital

HIV drug interactions – University of Liverpool


  1. Seden K, Gibbons S, Marzolini C, et al. Development of an evidence evaluation and synthesis system for drug-drug interactions, and its application to a systematic review of HIV and malaria co-infection. PLoS One. 2017;12(3):e0173509.
  2. Moltó J, Rajoli R, Back D, et al. Use of a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model to simulate drug-drug interactions between antineoplastic and antiretroviral drugs. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2017;72(3):805–811.
  3. Bracchi M, Stuart D, Castles R, et al. Increasing use of 'party drugs' in people living with HIV on antiretrovirals: a concern for patient safety. AIDS. 2015;29(13):1585–1592.
  4. Marzolini C, Livio F. Prescribing issues in elderly individuals living with HIV. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology. 2019;12(7):643–659.
  5. Werbel WA, Durand CM. Solid Organ Transplantation in HIV-Infected Recipients: History, Progress, and Frontiers. Current HIV/AIDS Reports. 2019;16(3):191–203.

About the author(s)