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What medications cause elephant hump?

May 11, 2014

Recently noticed my back physiology changing. so worried could be developing elephant hump. Which medications cause it and how can it be reversed.

Response from Dr. Pierone

A buffalo hump, or cervico-dorsal fat pad, is an uncommon complication of antiretroviral therapy. This abnormal fat protuberance develops at the junction of the upper back and lower back of the neck. The fat is typically more fibrous and firmer than ordinary subcutaneous fat. Protease inhibitors seem to be linked to this complication, and I have seen them improve after stopping this class of medications.

I have also had patients elect to have liposuction to reduce a buffalo hump that persists in spite of change of regimen.

I hope this information helps and good luck!

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