Drugs & Therapy Perspectives

, Volume 34, Issue 10, pp 488–495 | Cite as

Adverse drug reactions to antiretroviral drugs and impact on treatment adherence among HIV patients in northwestern Nigeria

  • Abubakar Musa IsaEmail author
  • Ibrahim Jatau Abubakar
  • Basheer A. Z. Chedi
Original Research Article



Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) related to antiretroviral therapy (ART) have been a healthcare concern in the management of HIV. Information relating to ADR prevalence and its contribution to medication adherence is still limited in the northwestern part of Nigeria.


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of ADRs related to ART use, and its association with non-adherence to treatment.


A prospective observational study was conducted among HIV patients receiving ART at the ART unit of a specialist hospital in Jigawa State, the Northwestern region of Nigeria. Data were collected using patient interview and medical case folders. Patients were followed for 6 months for ADR monitoring. ADR causality was assessed using the WHO causality assessment.


Of the 167 patients in the study, 98 (58.7%) reported experiencing ADRs from ART use. Thirty-nine (44.8%) of the ADRs were possible, 16 (18.4%) were probable, 23 (26.4%) were unlikely, and 9 (10.3%) were conditional. Forty-one (47.1%) of the ADRs were mild, 45 (51.7%) were moderate, and 1 (1.2%) was severe. The most commonly reported ADRs were related to the CNS (163, 52%). ADRs led to non-adherence in 16 patients (16.3%) in the study (Chi-square = 12.1; p < 0.001).


The occurrence of ADRs associated with the use of ART is common and leads to non-adherence to ART among HIV patients. Adequate patient adherence counselling is therefore needed to improve adherence to ART, in addition to patient education and clinical interventions to manage ADRs.



The authors register their appreciation to all patients who participated in this study. The efforts of all staff of the ART clinic and Medical Records Department of the RSSH are also appreciated.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

This study was approved by the Ethical Committee of the RSSH.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was sought from all included patients prior to the commencement of the study. All data collection forms were de-identified to ensure confidentiality of the patient information.


No financial support was received for the conduct of this study.

Conflict of interest

Abubakar Musa Isa, Ibrahim Jatau Abubakar, and Basheer A. Z. Chedi have declared no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abubakar Musa Isa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ibrahim Jatau Abubakar
    • 2
  • Basheer A. Z. Chedi
    • 3
  1. 1.Drug Information Unit, Pharmacy DepartmentFederal Medical Centre Birnin KuduBirnin KuduNigeria
  2. 2.Division of Pharmacy, College of Health and MedicineUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesBayero University KanoKanoNigeria

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