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Is it worth it to use Serostim
Oct 4, 2012

Hi there, I have a question about serostim. I am 48, been positive for 20 years, but have always had a high t-cell count (800 to 1200) and 0 viral load. The meds I have taken in the past have given me moderate issues with lipodystrophy. My insurance will cover the serostim, but I am very skeptical. Besides the injection regime, I just don't think I will see the benefits I want and it'll be yet another "let-down" in this fight against this incredibly f-d up syndrome.

Let me know your thoughts. Thanks, Dom

Response from Mr. Vergel

Dom

There is no good reason to use Serostim unless you are wasting away or have a lot of fat accumulation in your organ cavity due to lipodystrophy. But even if you did have one of these two problems, your doctor would have to closely monitor you for any increases in blood sugar that Serostim can cause, and for any side effects like water retention and joint aches.

Serostim, a recombinant human growth hormone product, is approved for HIV+ patients who have lost at least 10 percent of their usual body weight unintentionally. It is not approved for lipodystrophy even though studies show that it can help burn visceral fat. The FDA did not approve the hormone for this use due to concerns of side effects.

Egrifta, a growth hormone releasin hormone, was approved for the treatment of abdominal fat related to HIV lipodystrophy. Since it does not spike blood levels of growth hormone as much as Serostim , the FDA had no problem approving it for lipodystrophy. However, it is a very slow acting drug with fat reductions in the order of 17- 27 percent after 26 weeks of daily injections. It does not work for everyone, with a failure rate of about 1 in 3 patients. You can find out more on Egrifta.com

It seems to me that you are healthy, are not wasting, and you may not have a severe issue with abdominal fat.

I would try to optimize your diet, exercise and ensure that hormones like testosterone and thyroid are in healthy ranges in your blood before thinking about using hormone based products of any kind.

Here is some more information about lipodystrophy if you need it (it does not include updated info on Egrifta):

HIV Lipodystrophy: Where Are We After Ten Years?

I hope this helps

Nelson



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