Maraviroc is a chemokine co-receptor 5 (CCR5) antagonist, the first of a new class of agents active against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Maraviroc was approved for use in the United States in 2007 but has had limited use. Maraviroc has been associated with elevations in serum aminotransferase levels and to several cases of acute, clinically apparent liver injury.


Maraviroc (mar" a vir' ok) is relatively new antiretroviral drug that targets one of the receptors for HIV that is present on the surface of lymphocytes. Maraviroc interrupts the binding of HIV to target cells by blocking the chemokine coreceptor 5 (CCR5), a necessary receptor in the uptake of HIV into cells. Maraviroc has both in vitro and in vivo activity against HIV and several randomized controlled trials have shown that it leads to significant decline in HIV RNA levels and rises in peripheral CD4 T cell counts. Maraviroc was given accelerated approval for use in HIV infection in the United States in 2007 and is currently used in a relatively small proportion of antiretroviral regimens, being recommended largely for HIV-treatment experienced adult patients with CCR5-tropic strains of HIV. Maraviroc is available as 150 and 300 mg tablets generically and under the brand name Selzentry. The recommended dose is 150 to 600 mg twice daily in combination with other classes of antiretroviral agents. Common side effects include cough, fever, rash and dizziness. Rare but potentially severe adverse events include myocardial ischemia or infarction, hypotension, hepatotoxicity and severe hypersensitivity reactions including Stevens Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis.


Therapy with maraviroc was associated with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevations in up to 10% of patients, but elevations above 5 times normal are less common. Furthermore, rates of ALT elevations with maraviroc were similar to rates in comparator groups receiving similar background optimized antiretroviral therapy [2.6% vs 3.4% above 5 times ULN in one study and 3.9% vs 4.0% in a second]. These elevations have not been associated with clinical symptoms and generally did not require dose modification. Nevertheless, two cases of acute hepatocellular injury arose in patients receiving maraviroc in prelicensure clinical trials. Both were women, ages 24 and 27, who developed fever, fatigue and rash followed by liver tests abnormalities within 1 to 3 weeks of starting maraviroc. One patient remained anicteric (peak bilirubin 1.5 mg/dL) while the other developed marked jaundice (peak bilirubin 31 mg/dL) and underwent emergency liver transplantation 16 days after onset. In both instances, other potential causes were present but no other diagnosis was confirmed. For these reasons, hepatitis and hepatic failure are listed as adverse events in the product label which includes a boxed warning about hepatotoxicity. Aplaviroc, the initial CCR5 antagonist developed, was abandoned during preclinical testing because of concerns about hepatotoxicity. The clinical features of hepatotoxicity related to maraviroc have not been described in detail and the drug has had limited use. There have been no further reports of liver failure attributed to maraviroc therapy.

Likelihood score: D (possible rare cause of clinically apparent liver injury).

Mechanism of Injury

Maraviroc is extensively metabolized in the liver via the CYP 450 system and is a substrate for P-glycoprotein, making it susceptible to multiple drug-drug interactions. Thus, liver injury from maraviroc may be due to its hepatic conversion to a toxic or immunogenic intermediate. The reported cases have had features suggestive of a hypersensitivity reaction.

Outcome and Management

The serum aminotransferase abnormalities that occur during maraviroc therapy are usually mild and self-limited, not requiring dose modification or discontinuation. The course and outcome of more clinically apparent hepatotoxicity has not been characterized. There is unlikely to be any cross sensivity to hepatic injury between maraviroc and other antiretroviral agents.

Drug Class: Antiviral Agents



Maraviroc – Selzentry®


Antiviral Agents


Product labeling at DailyMed, National Library of Medicine, NIH



References updated: 06 June 2019

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    (FDA website with the formal review of the safety and efficacy of maraviroc with descriptions of the two patients who developed clinically apparent liver injury during the prelicensure clinical trials).
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  • Neukam K, Mira JA, Collado A, Rivero-Juárez A, Monje-Agudo P, Ruiz-Morales J, Ríos MJ, et al; HEPAVIR SEG-HEP-2007 Study Group of the Sociedad Andaluza de Enfermedades Infecciosas (SAEI). Liver toxicity of current antiretroviral regimens in HIV-infected patients with chronic viral hepatitis in a real-life setting: The HEPAVIR SEG-HEP Cohort. PLoS One 2016; 11: e0148104. [PMC free article: PMC4743911] [PubMed: 26848975]
    (Among 192 "real-life" patients with HIV who were coinfected with HBV or HCV and were started on a new antiretroviral regimen, 10 [5%] developed ALT or AST elevations above 5 times ULN, including 1 of 9 started on maraviroc, but none required drug discontinuation because of the elevations or developed clinically apparent liver injury).
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    (Among 137 patients with HIV and HBV or HCV coinfection who were treated with maraviroc or placebo in addition to their standard antiretroviral regimen for 144 weeks, rates of ALT or AST elevations and hepatobiliary adverse events were similar in the two groups).
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