Integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTIs) are the preferred third agent in first-line antiretroviral therapies. Raltegravir (RAL) was the first INSTI to be approved and used in naïve and experienced patients. Due to its good tolerability and low side effects, RAL has been largely used also in hepatitis co-infected patients. Many years of experience in RAL use now allow literature evidence to be gathered on its safety in HIV/HCV-co-infected patients pre, during and post direct acting agents (DAA) treatment, at all possible stages. In both clinical trials and published case series, RAL has been well tolerated in patients harboring HCV co-infection and also in cirrhotic patients with mild hepatic impairment. Literature data show no major interactions or the need for dose adjustments with any of the DAA currently in use for HCV treatment, or with ribavirine. Hence, RAL can be safely administered during HCV treatment with DAA and may be used as a "temporary" regimen in patients who do not present major integrase-inhibitor mutations. Moreover, its characteristics are also favorable in case of orthotropic liver transplantation, both for the evidence of hepatic safety and for possible co-administration with immunosuppressant agents.
Role of Raltegravir in patients co-infected with HIV and HCV in the era of direct antiviral agents.