Does Atripla cause lipodystrophy?
May 5, 2008
My doctor tells me that Atripla does not cause many changes in fat distribution, but I'm noticing my eyes looking more sunk in and my belly getting bigger.
Is there a more fat-friendly med combination?
Response from Dr. Pierone
Based on currently available data, Atripla appears to be the regimen least likely to result in lipodystrophy, but it can certainly occur as in your case. Whether some of the newer agents, particularly Isentress will be more fat friendly than NNRTI's, is not yet known yet.
So what to do?
If the changes are mild, continuing the same medications and focusing on therapeutic lifestyle modification is reasonable plan. Studies have shown that therapeutic lifestyle modification careful diet and increased exercise can modestly decrease abdominal fat in patients on HAART.
If the changes become severe, then stopping treatment may be an option. Treatment interruption has fallen out of favor, but some patients are on therapy for many years with normal CD4+ lymphocyte counts and may be able to get off medications for a while. This is not on option for everyone and stopping treatment has to be carefully considered and discussed with your clinician. Aside from stopping, a change to an Isentress-based regimen may be considered, but not based on hard data. I hope this information helps and best of luck!
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