The association of medication use with clearance or persistence of oral HPV infection

Jennifer O. Lam, Elizabeth A. Sugar, Ross D. Cranston, Kathleen M. Weber, Robert D. Burk, Dorothy J. Wiley, Susheel Reddy, Joseph B. Margolick, Howard D. Strickler, Alicia Wentz, Lisa Jacobson, Christian L. Coles, Jay H. Bream, Anne F. Rositch, Yingshi Guo, Weihong Xiao, Maura L. Gillison, Gypsyamber D’Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Persistent oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection increases risk for oropharyngeal carcinoma, and people living with HIV have higher rates of oral HPV infection and related cancers. Some prescription medications have immunomodulatory effects, but the impact of medication use on oral HPV natural history is unknown. Methods: Scope® oral rinse-and-gargle samples were collected semi-annually from 1,666 participants and tested for 37 types of oral HPV DNA using PCR; 594 HPV-infected participants with 1,358 type-specific oral HPV infections were identified. Data were collected on recent (past 6 months) use of medications. The relationship between medication use and oral HPV clearance was evaluated using Wei–Lin–Weissfeld regression, adjusting for biologic sex, prevalent versus incident infection, age, HIV status and CD4+ T cell count. Results: Out of 11 medications examined, oral HPV clearance was significantly reduced in participants reporting recent use of antipsychotics (HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.57–0.99), anxiolytics/sedatives (HR 0.78, 95% CI 0.63–0.96) and antidepressants (HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.67–0.999). Among antipsychotics users, effect modification by HIV status was observed, with reduced clearance in HIV-infected (HR 0.67, 95% CI 0.49–0.91), but not HIV-uninfected participants (p-interaction = 0.009). After adjusted analysis, antipsychotic use remained significantly associated with reduced oral HPV clearance overall (aHR 0.75, 95% CI 0.57–0.99), and when restricted to only HIV-infected participants (aHR 0.66, 95% CI 0.48–0.90). After adjustment, anxiolytic/sedative use and antidepressant use were no longer significantly associated with reduced oral HPV clearance. Conclusions: Some medications were associated with decreased oral HPV clearance, most notably antipsychotic medications. These medications are prescribed for conditions that may have immunomodulating effects, so characteristics of underlying illness may have partially contributed to reduced oral HPV clearance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1498
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Antipsychotic
  • Clearance
  • HIV
  • Immunomodulatory
  • Oral HPV
  • Prescription medication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'The association of medication use with clearance or persistence of oral HPV infection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this