Neuropsychiatric manifestations and sleep disturbances with dolutegravir-based antiretroviral therapy versus standard of care in children and adolescents: a secondary analysis of the ODYSSEY trial

Elsevier, The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, Volume 7, October 2023
Turkova A., White E., Gibb D.M., Ford D., Kekitiinwa A.R., Bbuye D. et al.

Background: Cohort studies in adults with HIV showed that dolutegravir was associated with neuropsychiatric adverse events and sleep problems, yet data are scarce in children and adolescents. We aimed to evaluate neuropsychiatric manifestations in children and adolescents treated with dolutegravir-based treatment versus alternative antiretroviral therapy. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of ODYSSEY, an open-label, multicentre, randomised, non-inferiority trial, in which adolescents and children initiating first-line or second-line antiretroviral therapy were randomly assigned 1:1 to dolutegravir-based treatment or standard-of-care treatment. We assessed neuropsychiatric adverse events (reported by clinicians) and responses to the mood and sleep questionnaires (reported by the participant or their carer) in both groups. We compared the proportions of patients with neuropsychiatric adverse events (neurological, psychiatric, and total), time to first neuropsychiatric adverse event, and participant-reported responses to questionnaires capturing issues with mood, suicidal thoughts, and sleep problems. Findings: Between Sept 20, 2016, and June 22, 2018, 707 participants were enrolled, of whom 345 (49%) were female and 362 (51%) were male, and 623 (88%) were Black-African. Of 707 participants, 350 (50%) were randomly assigned to dolutegravir-based antiretroviral therapy and 357 (50%) to non-dolutegravir-based standard-of-care. 311 (44%) of 707 participants started first-line antiretroviral therapy (ODYSSEY-A; 145 [92%] of 157 participants had efavirenz-based therapy in the standard-of-care group), and 396 (56%) of 707 started second-line therapy (ODYSSEY-B; 195 [98%] of 200 had protease inhibitor-based therapy in the standard-of-care group). During follow-up (median 142 weeks, IQR 124–159), 23 participants had 31 neuropsychiatric adverse events (15 in the dolutegravir group and eight in the standard-of-care group; difference in proportion of participants with ≥1 event p=0·13). 11 participants had one or more neurological events (six and five; p=0·74) and 14 participants had one or more psychiatric events (ten and four; p=0·097). Among 14 participants with psychiatric events, eight participants in the dolutegravir group and four in standard-of-care group had suicidal ideation or behaviour. More participants in the dolutegravir group than the standard-of-care group reported symptoms of self-harm (eight vs one; p=0·025), life not worth living (17 vs five; p=0·0091), or suicidal thoughts (13 vs none; p=0·0006) at one or more follow-up visits. Most reports were transient. There were no differences by treatment group in low mood or feeling sad, problems concentrating, feeling worried or feeling angry or aggressive, sleep problems, or sleep quality. Interpretation: The numbers of neuropsychiatric adverse events and reported neuropsychiatric symptoms were low. However, numerically more participants had psychiatric events and reported suicidality ideation in the dolutegravir group than the standard-of-care group. These differences should be interpreted with caution in an open-label trial. Clinicians and policy makers should consider including suicidality screening of children or adolescents receiving dolutegravir. Funding: Penta Foundation, ViiV Healthcare, and UK Medical Research Council.