|Significant Drop in Hemoglobin Levels
Dec 20, 1999
Hello--I'm 39 yo male who was diagnoised HIV+ in Jun 99 (VL 7,000/CD4 820). I was put on Viracept & Combivar (Oct 99) when my VL jumped to 256K. My current VL is 400 and CD4 is 1,225. However, my doctor is taking me off AZT (and replacing it w/Zerit) because my Hemoglobin (RBC) fell from 15.3 to 10.9 in a matter of 6 weeks. Is this a significant drop? Does this mean I'm anemic? I have been experiencing high levels of fatigue and weakness. In your opinion, should my Hemoglobin begin to increase back to normal levels on its own, now that I'm off AZT? Do I need to take any other medication (Procrit?) or food supplements to rebuild the RBC count? Thank you for you time.
Response from Mr. Molaghan
A drop in hemoglobin from 15.3 to 10.9 in a matter of 6 weeks is definitely significant, and that definitely fits the description of anemia. The change in treatment was a good decision. The anemia should improve. If your hemoglobin remains decreased and the fatigue and weakness persists you might benefit from Procrit.
AZT induced anemia responds well to treatment in most people. Symptoms of fatigue and weakness also improve. Your immune studies look great! No reason why you cant feel great. Talk to your doctor about treating the anemia. Good luck. Let us know how things work out.
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